RAY VI The Ray of Devotion and Abstract Idealism

Some Strengths Characteristic of Those upon the Sixth Ray
Transcendent idealism
Power of abstraction
Intense devotion
Self-sacrificial ardor
Unshakable faith and undimmed optimism
One-pointedness; single-mindedness
Utter loyalty and adherence
Earnestness and sincerity
Profound humility
Receptivity to spiritual guidance
Unflagging persistence
Power to arouse, inspire and persuade
Ability to achieve ecstasy and rapture
Purity, goodness, sainthood
Transcendent idealism: The word "idea" is derived from the Greek word "idein," which means "to see," (and suggests both the presence of the "I" and the "eye"). The first two definitions of "Idea" to be found in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary are the following: "a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are imperfect representations: a standard of perfection: IDEAL." An idealist (in the highest sense of the word) is one who is intent upon seeing the noumenal pattern of perfection which subtends all phenomenal things. Further, not content with merely seeing that pattern, the idealist intends to live according to that pattern, regardless of the phenom­enal obstacles he may encounter in the attempt to do so.
Among all the ray types, those upon the sixth ray are the most idealistic. They are well aware that their true "home" is not the world of appearances. They have a "homing instinct" which allows them to come en rapport with a transcendent "pattern in the heavens," which they regard as 'the pattern of things as they should be.' Hence the subtle
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but pervasive dissatisfaction which conditions the sixth ray psyche, for "things as they are" never measure up to the ideal.
Sixth ray idealists thus see through and beyond actuality. They have great distaste for that which usually surrounds them, and they seek to rise above it, transcend it, and dwell in closest communion with the 'entity/energies' of whom the phenomenal world is the dim reflection. World-denial is one route to the 'paradise' of perfection, but a selfish route. Others upon the sixth ray, equally idealistic and equally in love with the transcendent archetypes, work upon transforming actualities so that they more closely conform to archetypes, but unless such people are strongly influenced by one of the practical rays of manifestation (especially the seventh), they are likely to be known as dreamers and impractical visionaries. Their transformational task, however, is to lift themselves and the world closer to the ideal. It is an upward-striving process, and differs from the task of the more practical, seventh ray idealist who works at the precipitation of the new patterns.
Because the sixth ray is rapidly fading out of incarnation, many of the more crystallized traits associated with it have emerged in human behavior, and its reputation has suffered accordingly—especially among the intelligentsia and esotericists. Many intel­ligent people who should know better have forgotten not only how to value the sixth ray, but also how to value those who are strongly influenced by its quality. Yet idealism is an irreplaceable, divine quality; many of the potentials which humanity stands ready to unfold within the Aquarian Age are based upon the sixth ray idealism which has been cultivated during the past two thousand years. The Tibetan describes the effect and value of the sixth ray and sixth ray workers:
The effect of the activity of this ray, during the past two thousand years, has been to train humanity in the art of recognizing ideals, which are the blue prints of ideas. The main work of the disciples on this ray is to capitalize on the developed tendency of humanity to recognize ideas, and—avoiding the rocks of fanaticism, and the dangerous shoals of superficial desire—train the world thinkers so ardently to desire the good, the true and the beautiful, that the idea which should materialise in some form on earth can shift from the plane of the mind and clothe itself in some form on earth. These disciples work consciously with the desire element in man; they work scientifically with its correct evocation. Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 143-144.
We need sixth ray people to inspire us to new heights, to evoke all that is best in us. They prevent us from compromising away our latent spiritual potentials, and insist that we lift ourselves beyond the downward pull of materialistic impulses. The "Word of Power" associated with the sixth ray eloquently reveals the nature of this uncompro­mising idealism: "The Highest Light Controls." Highly developed sixth ray people never lose sight of this "Highest Light." It shines as a beacon guiding their eager
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aspiration. They refuse to lower their sights, nor will their inner eye respond to any lesser luminosity.
Power of abstraction: The sixth ray is accurately called the "Ray of Abstract Idealism." Advanced sixth ray people have the ability to free themselves from the snares of materialistic living and to soar to the heights of sensitive consciousness from which the ideal can be apprehended in all its purity. We recognize this capacity in the pronounced otherworldliness of certain sixth ray individuals. When Christ/Jesus enjoined his disciples to be "in the world but not of it," He was speaking of a spiritually abstracted attitude which sixth ray types can achieve more easily than most. It is the power of abstraction which allows them not to care what may befall them; they are abstracted from the world of appearances, and stand (as it were) with "one foot in the other world."
Obviously, the power of abstraction must be held somewhat in check; consciousness perpetually focused at too lofty a level may eventuate in futility, or in a premature and spiritually selfish 'departure into the light' which leaves the suffering world behind. At its best, however, the sixth ray power of abstraction contributes to the purification of values. The true, abstract idealist (ever an advanced human being) is not blinded by superficial, worldly attractions. He recognizes what is lasting and important; his consciousness rises above and 'rides above' lesser things.
Intense devotion: The great sixth ray Lord (the Logos Who distributes the sixth ray) has been called "The Devotee of Life." All those who take their inspiration from Him share this quality. The word "devotion" derives from the Latin, "devotus," which is the past participle of "devovere"—from de + vovere, "to vow." The person who vows, binds himself to an act, service or condition. Devotion, thus, is a focused act of attachment. It is a directed and intensified use of the energy of attraction. Devotion connects the devotee to the object of devotion by means of a powerful, magnetic bond, formed, primary, of astral (emotional) substance.
Sixth ray people live to attach themselves to something. Essentially, they do not wish to stand free, as do those upon the first ray. Even when they detach themselves violently from someone or something (and it happens fairly frequently), it is only so that they may reattach to someone or something they believe to be more worthy. This modus operandi demonstrates that they are more closely related to the second ray and the Law of Attraction, than to the first ray and the Law of Synthesis.
Why this intense devotion? Devotion is idealistic love, but not necessarily selfless love. Sixth ray idealists reject all things which fall short of the ideal. Most potential objects of devotion are found wanting, substandard, insufficiently attractive. However, when someone or something of sufficient (apparent) worthiness is found, an abundance of pent-up magnetic/attractive energy is directed in a narrow and intensely focused beam towards the selected object. This beam of energy has a very adhesive quality and forms (for the duration of its intensity) an almost inseparable bond between the devotee and
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the beloved object. This bond might be called (from the devotee's point of view) a 'line of lavished love,' (for waves of 'love' are sent speeding along this 'line' or 'beam' towards the beloved object), but it is equally a kind of psychospiritual 'umbilical cord' along which the devotee expects (however unconscious the expectation) psychological and spiritual nourishment in return. If perceptive individuals who have been 'made' into objects of devotion are asked, they will testify to the fact that a devotee's attachment (though apparently supportive and energizing) actually acts as a drain upon their energies.
It is interesting, is it not, that the senior workers in an Ashram have to protect the Master from the waves of devotion sent forth from newly entered neophytes. Devotion is, in no small measure, an act of dependency. From a selfish perspective, it ensures the devotee of a continual supply of 'nourishment,' be it spiritual or (on a lower turn of the spiral) emotional and etheric-physical. Devotion, does, however frequently serve the process of evolution; it provides a strong, secure and uninterrupted channel of attractive/ magnetic energy along which spiritual blessings can be deliberately sent from the higher spiritual source (for instance, the Master) to which the devoted one has attached himself.
Devotion, although it may not be (initially) the completely selfless act it often appears, can, in fact, foster selflessness. In Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 18, we read that, "The Ray of Devotion is preeminently the ray of sacrifice." The supreme value of devotion as a psychospiritual dynamic, is, in fact, its power to induce self-forgetfulness. This is an important spiritual objective, for the loss (in consciousness) of the little, personal ego is one of the fundamental necessities of true spiritual development.
Self-sacrificial ardor: The sixth ray holds within itself curious contradictions; it is both fiery and watery—intensely so, in both cases. According to the Ageless Wisdom, there are two primary methods of purification upon the Path of Discipleship: purification by water, and purification by fire. Water precedes fire, and the sixth ray is involved in both purificatory processes. Much necessary purification necessarily relates to the emotional nature, which, at different times is both watery and fiery in nature, and sometimes both simultaneously.
After the "waters" have done their cleansing work, the evolving individual (especially if he is upon the sixth ray) is seized with fiery aspiration. A fiery 'burning up" of all obstacles is his way of progress; he yearns and he burns. His method of release is self-immolation.
The destruction of the causal body is considered a major liberation upon the Path of Initiation. Those on different rays use different methods to carry out this destruction. The sixth ray method is most interesting because of its reliance upon fire.
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The Ray of Devotion is pre-eminently the ray of sacrifice. When it is the egoic ray the method of approach through meditation takes the form of one-pointed application, through love of some individual or ideal. A man learns to include through love of person or ideal; he bends every faculty and every effort to the contemplation of what is required, and in sacrifice for that person or ideal lays even his causal body on the flames of the altar (emphasis, MDR). It is the method of divine fanaticism that counts all lost apart from the vision, and that eventually sacrifices joyously the entire personality. The causal body is de­stroyed through fire (emphasis, MDR), and the liberated life streams upward to the Spirit in divine beatification. Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 18.
While those upon the sixth ray lose much time through overattachment, when the time for detachment and destruction of ties does come, their progress can be extremely rapid. Their devotion ignites the ardent flames of self-sacrifice, and once that fire is raging, nothing will quench it until it has performed its task of liberation. The individual then stands free.
Unshakable faith and undimmed optimism: Faith and optimism are related to vision. It is the vision which motivates and inspires. "Where there is no vision, the people perish." As a corollary, 'Where there is vision, the people are inspired and thrive.' The vision, of course, is not the goal itself, just as the menu is not the meal. However, those who focus intently upon the vision already begin to share in the quality of that which the vision conceals and to which it leads; they resonate to (and are energized by) the reality of which the vision is the symbol. As long as the vision remains bright and before the "inner eye," the power conferred by that reality flows to the visionary; faith and optimism are strong, and the individual is inspired.
In the lives of so many people, however, the vision fades from sight, and they are overcome by doubt and pessimism. Their line of connection to the alluring goal is temporarily severed, and animating energy ceases to flow. They lose faith, and with faith, their inspiration. The ability to sustain faith is an issue for all people; for sixth ray people, however, it is crucial, and they usually do it best.
Their eyes are so intent upon the envisioned goal that, no matter what may work to obscure it, the vision is rarely lost to sight. This is one of the great abilities of those upon the sixth ray; they know how to preserve contact with the source of their strength. They have attached themselves (with the strongest of bonds) to a beloved source from which animating energy flows, and nothing can force them to relinquish their magnetic grip. Intuitively, they know that "the best is yet to be," that the optimum exists, despite deceiving appearances to the contrary. Affirming the best in all things, their optimism is undimmed and undying. In the phenomenal world (the world of many changes) the steadying, orienting influence of sixth ray individuals is extremely valuable.
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One-pointedness; single-mindedness: The phenomenal world is full of distractions, but sixth ray people do not get distracted. Once they have "seen the vision" and fastened their 'line of magnetic desire' to that reality which the vision symbolizes, nothing can deflect them. They value one thing above all other things, and in pursuit of that one thing, they let the other things go. Nothing else matters but that they achieve their goal.
There are many reasons that people fail to reach their goal. One of the most important is insufficient desire. They fail because their desire to succeed is not strong enough. This can rarely be said of those upon the sixth ray. Having eliminated a host of peripheral desires, all their desire force is blended into one intense stream which is focused entirely upon a single object. They become entirely one-pointed, entirely single-minded, and thereby overcome much that might otherwise prevent accomplishment.
Utter loyalty and adherence: Loyalty is more important to the sixth ray type than to any other. We must remember that sixth ray people work primarily with the energy of attraction. Unlike first ray individuals, they are not seeking "Isolated Unity." In fact, they dread the thought of isolation. Their goal is union, a mystical blending or oneness with "the Beloved." The object of their devotion (whether God, a saint, another person or an ideal) is what might be called 'the all-important other.' They cannot conceive of living without a relationship to this other. This is clearly a dualistic attitude.
The sixth ray individual, then, always thinks in terms of himself (the idealist or devotee) and the supremely-valued other. For people of this type, the bond between the two must be preserved at any cost if psychological balance is to be maintained. If the bond should, for any reason be severed, they lose their "reason for living." Thus it is that loyalty and intense adherence are valued so highly by sixth ray people. Loyalty preserves the bond. It ensures that the lover will not be separated from the beloved. Loyalty, for sixth ray people, is the basis of psychological security, because they are extraordinarily threat­ened even by the thought of being severed from that which (or the one who) gives all meaning to their lives.
Whatever may be the sixth ray person's psychological reasons for valuing them so highly, loyalty and adherence to an object of devotion can be important virtues. They breed trust between people, and help overcome the fear of abandonment which lurks within every human heart. The next stage of human evolution, however, calls for more unified and loving relationships between all human beings. The narrowly focused loyalties of those upon the sixth ray must be broadened to include all members of the human family.
Under the regime of the sixth ray, it is considered impossible to be loyal to those with contrasting ideologies; loyalty to one group is immediately interpreted as disloyalty to the other. But as the sixth ray is transformed into the second, it will be possible to be loyal to all. This will be achieved when humanity learns to be loyal to the human soul and spirit, rather than to the separated and separative personality with its limited points of view.
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Earnestness and sincerity: Those inspired by the sixth ray move in a straight line; they do not deviate. They are simple rather than complex, obvious rather than concealed. They know what they want, and everyone else knows as well.
Evolved sixth ray people know what they value. On this matter, at least, there is no division within their psyche. They are serious about their intentions, and have no aptitude or inclination to dissimulate. They refuse to cloak their ideals. They are good, and true, earnest and sincere; in short, they actually are as they appear.
Profound humility: Those upon the sixth ray always reach above themselves to someone or something greater. Instinctively, they seem to realize the smallness and relative insignificance of the human being. They do not have a particularly well-adjusted sense of proportion (for instance, they exaggerate the 'distance' between man and God, man and Christ, or between actuality and the ideal state), but, at least, they have a feeling for greatness. Advanced people on this ray avoid the dangerous world view which makes man the center of all things. If man were central and all-important, to what or to whom could they aspire?
One of the most essential sixth ray impulses is the urge to transcend. Most sixth ray people are almost incapable of looking downwards from above. Rather, they imagine themselves below and the ideal above—high above. No matter how far they progress, no matter what they attain, they are still overwhelmed by the vision of the greatness which lies ahead. For the ideal, by definition, is never reached. Always, there is something better than the manifested state.
It can be seen that sixth ray people (forever contrasting the imperfections of the actual state, with the anticipated perfections of a yet-to-be-achieved, transcendent state) will remain small and lowly in their own eyes. This may not be true humility, as understood by the esotericist or occultist, but it will promote the profound conviction, that no matter how great one may be, there is always someone or something greater.
Receptivity to spiritual guidance: Even when sixth ray people have finally learned a degree of self-reliance, they still look "above" for guidance. They know their own fallibility, and do not completely trust themselves; however, they have complete faith in the wisdom of someone or something greater than themselves. And so, especially in important matters, rather than "set their own course," they open themselves to their "higher guidance," and follow it, trusting it implicitly.
The dangers in this approach are obvious, for the leader is often as blind as the follower. Even purely subjective guidance may be worthless, and most often it is. But sometimes, it is not. If one reviews the life of Jesus of Nazareth or Joan of Arc, it will be clear that these two individuals (in both of whom the sixth ray was extremely potent) attended to their higher guidance constantly, and directed their lives accordingly. In these and similar cases, faithfully following higher guidance led on to spectacular spiritual achievement.
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Advanced sixth ray people are habitually attuned to a higher dimension which they regard as reality. Correspondingly, they see little truth or value in the world of appearances. The phenomenal world is a mass of confusing impressions, in which the Divine Pattern is obscured. Sixth ray people have very little tolerance for confusion, perhaps because they are not capable of disentangling it. But they can penetrate it. Instinctively and intuitively they know that in the ideal world there is clarity, simplicity and certainty—a reliable vision which will help them successfully negotiate the laby­rinth of phenomena. Therefore they look above the complicated maze, and hearken beyond the din for the voice or voices which will lead them through in safety.
Unflagging persistence: Sixth ray people are the "die-hards" (The Destiny of the Nations, p. 29). They never give up, perhaps, because they never let go. The strength of their persistence is virtually equal to the persistence of those upon the first ray, but it is the persistence of tenacious desire rather than of will.
These are people who live in a narrow world. They have eliminated many desires in favor of one all-engrossing desire. They have, colloquially, "put all their eggs in one basket." If they do not achieve that desire, they "count all as lost." To the impassioned sixth ray state of mind, there are no diversions and no second chances. Therefore, with an often-grim earnestness, they persist because no alternatives exit. They "give their all" because if they did not (and they failed), they would be unable to forgive themselves.
Those upon the sixth ray are capable of exerting an incredible amount of effort, an immoderate amount. In fact, they 'beat themselves,' whipping themselves into a frenzy of activity—anything, as long as it keeps them moving towards their goal. Those on certain of the rays know how to rest. Sixth ray people (and those upon the third ray [to which the sixth ray is related]) do not; they never seem to know when to quit. Their life is one of constant intensity. If, however, they manage to avoid "burning out" prema­turely, they are ideally equipped to set an example for all those who do not understand continuity of effort.
Power to arouse, inspire and persuade: Sixth ray people are the outstanding enthusi­asts. When they believe, they can make others believe. They become so 'enfired' by their ideals, that they sweep others along irresistibly. Their power to arouse and inspire is largely emotional. They do not appeal to reason. Instead, they present an idea so favorably, so magnetically, and with such great appeal that it becomes irresistibly desirable. They transform ideas into ideals.
Sixth ray workers wield a great power. The majority of human beings are, at this time, emotionally polarized. If they were more mentally focused, they could respond to ideas. But, given the present evolutionary status of the race, it is hopeless to expect large numbers of people to have any significant mental comprehension of ideas and their implications. For now, ideas can only be implemented in the form of ideals—which might be called 'ideas rendered desirable.' It is sixth ray workers, of all the ray types, who
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have the ardor, earnestness, and fiery enthusiasm to render ideas desirable. Large numbers of people can thus be inspired to support an idea (in the form of an ideal) even if they don't understand it completely. All they have to do is desire the idea sufficiently, and it will be accomplished. Those who can arouse humanity's emotional nature are in control of a tremendous force for good or for ill. The mind may be 'closer to the soul' than the emotions, but, for the time being, only those who understand the language of emotions will be able to move humanity, en masse, along the Path of Evolution. Fortunately, there are many evolved sixth ray individuals who understand both their opportunity and their responsibility.
Ability to achieve ecstasy and rapture: The phenomenal world is a Saturnian realm; its inhabitants are bound and under pressure. There is little joy to be seen upon the lowest plane, which has fittingly been called "the vale of tears," just as perfected human beings have been called "the graduates of painful endeavor." (Esoteric Astrology, p. 693)
Perhaps no ray types feel this oppression more acutely than those upon the sixth ray. They have no great affinity for the material plane, and it is a source of greatest frustration for them to be ensnared within material conditions. It is for this reason that, from the first, they strive to "rise above" material conditioning. In the initial stages, they inevitably fail, and may even find themselves more ensnared in binding conditions because of the unwise methods they employ. But at length they master the "way of escape," and learn to make contact with those "realms of abstraction" which they know to be their true home. Whether they approach the heights through prayer, meditation or fervent aspiration, once free of the oppressive confines of the lower world, they feel the special expansion and exhilaration natural to those higher spheres. They achieve an exaltation of consciousness which is free from the depressing effects of form. They may even bring this 'transported' consciousness "back" into normal brain awareness, as some of the world's greatest mystics have done. If they succeed, they become simulta­neously capable of practical effectiveness and sustained ecstatic perception.
It may be thought that the ecstasy and rapture of the mystic are a selfish condition, of "no earthly value" to others, but this is not necessarily the case, especially in those instances when the mystic 'returns' bearing his spiritual gifts from the other world. He can serve then as an inspiration to those who are still confined, and whose consciousness has not yet opened out to the higher and vaster reaches. He then stands as a living testimony to that "altered state" which is natural upon the higher planes, but the rarest of occurrences upon the stifling plane of material life. Because he lives in a state of ecstasy, his very presence gives hope to the spiritually oppressed; his rapture conveys a foretaste of the bliss to come.
Purity, goodness, sainthood: For most people it is presently impossible to achieve great heights of purity and goodness while in incarnation (though, eventually, all must so achieve). Advanced sixth ray people, however, are not dissuaded by earthly obstacles. They have captured a vision of the ideal, and for long ages have striven to live truer to
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that ideal. They also intimately understand corruption, the impermanence of the lower worlds, and all the forces which have set at naught their best efforts. Their nature is such that they will not compromise with the earthly sphere. In the early days of their aspiration, before achieving self-control, this produced a tremendous cleavage between idealism and practicality, but upon the Path of Initiation, they prevail. The waters have flowed and the fire has burned; thus, they have become pure. They have desired many things, found them wanting, and adjusted their sense of values accordingly. They have achieved goodness. Developed people upon the sixth ray never seek sainthood, as such, for this would be a subtle form of self-exaltation (stifling to the higher Self). But as they live their lives, totally committed to purity and goodness, and totally infused with an ever-broadening love, others look on and are inspired to do likewise. Their lives have become sacred, and in recognition of this, others endow them with the title of "saint" (i.e., one who has become a perfected embodiment of the ideal).
Of course, there is no true perfection upon the Earth, nor complete purity or goodness. In this connection we must remember the words of the Christ when he was called "good": "Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew, 19:17). And this from an individual before Whose achievements the achievement of every saint pales. We human beings must be content to live in a relativistic world. Even the Solar Logos is humble before "The One About Whom Naught May Be Said." Nevertheless, we can perhaps be forgiven if, at times, forgetting the infinitude of dimensions which lie above us, and in recognition of those who have successfully embodied what we human beings call the ideal, we use the word "saint" to venerate their achievement.
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Some Weaknesses Characteristic of Those upon the Sixth Ray
Rigid idealism
Unreasoning devotion; ill-considered loyalty • Blind faith
Excess; extremism; hyper-intensity; overdoing
Unvarying one-pointedness; ultra-narrow orientation; mania
Fanaticism and militarism
Selfish and jealous love; dependency; over-leaning on others
Unwise susceptibility to guidance
Superstition and gullibility; lack of realism
Self-abasement; masochism; the martyr-complex
Unnatural suppression of the instinctual nature
Idealistic impracticality
Rigid idealism: Sixth ray idealists already 'know' the 'truth.' In their self-assured minds, they see no need to look further, to entertain new possibilities. They are resolved, at all costs, to adhere faithfully to that which is 'right,' and, of course, to resist strenuously any hint of change. People upon the sixth ray frequently pride themselves upon what the less passionate see as rigid, brittle, unadaptable attitudes. But, to ardent, sixth ray idealists, their uncompromising stance testifies to their determination to preserve the highest values.
However, despite frequent shows of steely resolve, sixth ray people are often the most insecure of all ray types. They fear losing their way. They crave what might be called a 'permanent true North,' a fixed and changeless luminous point of orientation to guide them in the dark. And when they find it, they fix their eyes immovably upon it.
It is well known that when people are terrified they 'freeze.' They become rigid and immobile, not daring to move. To those who are the terrified, movement means vulnerability. There is something of this in the rigid idealism of the most vehement sixth ray types. They progress as follows: at first, they search desperately for an ideal; then, they find it; they soon become terrified of losing it; and, quickly, they 'rigidify' or 'freeze' to assure themselves that they will never lose it. The sixth ray psyche is extraordinarily susceptible to the fear of loss. This may account for the dread of change which characterizes sixth ray people. Change means "letting go," and when something cherished is released, it may be lost, and nothing may appear to take its place. These fears
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may account for the conservative (and even reactionary) rigidity of many sixth ray people. To those who have not found a center of assurance within themselves, change connotes chaos and the terror of being "lost in the dark" without an ideal to light the way.
A rigid idealistic orientation, then, is understandable, but still unfortunate. In the "world of becoming," the truth is with Heraclitus: "There is nothing permanent except change." God is all there is, and God is ever-new. Rigid idealism is anti-evolutionary, and stands as an obstacle to the unfoldment of the Divine Plan in time. Only a lessening of fear will relax the panicked grip, loosen the rigidity, and break the transfixion of the gaze, allowing the eyes to move to the right and left, and thus encompass a wider horizon.
Fortunately, prolonged experience upon the path of evolution will bring desensitiza-tion and a reduction of fear. When sixth ray people believe, they imagine they will believe forever. But time wears on, and wears them down. They cling with passion, but, in time, passion becomes disgust, for the ideal they believed to be their salvation becomes their prison. Awakening in revulsion to the consequences of their rigidity, they thrust their former ideal away. Another may, of course, take its place immediately, renewing the cycle of rigid adherence leading inevitably to revulsion. But, eventually, fatigue sets in, and they begin to realize that it is their own fear and desperation which have brought them to grief.
Slowly, it dawns, that no one ideal, and no one orientation will ever satisfy them completely; that evolution is both fluid and benevolent; that greater, wider and better things always lie ahead—not just a pinpoint of light, but the radiant sun; not just a single gasp of breath, but free and easy respiration in an endless ocean of vitalizing air. They see they have been satisfied with too little, holding to the tiniest part, and rejecting the whole. If, at this point of realization, they fear anything, it is that they will repeat the agonizing cycle of self-limitation through fearful rigidity. At last, more enlightened, they relax their grip. If an appealing ideal should appear, they hold it lightly (seeing it only as one of an infinite, ascending series of ideals), always ready to relinquish it graciously for the next, which (they now realize) will inevitably be higher, broader and closer to the ultimate state of spiritual consummation.
Unreasoning faith and devotion: We may agree with Blaise Pascal, that "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of," but it is always best (for the spiritual aspirant or disciple) if head and heart can be united. Unfortunately, in the lives of many sixth ray people, there is a great cleavage between the two. Desire and the will-to-believe become so insistent, so furious, that reason is totally overwhelmed. The ultimate absurdity was expressed by Tertullian when speaking of the Christian world view: "It is certain because it is impossible." St. Augustine expressed himself similarly: "I believe because it is impossible." Emotional intensity justifies faith. Reason is violently repu­diated. Head and heart are held apart.
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No matter how convinced such people may feel, their attitude can only lead deeper into ignorance. The emotional vehicle is the most powerful (and bewildering) of all personality force fields. It needs the constant discrimination and guidance of the soul-illumined mind, or it will adhere to goals and objectives which are foolish and unworthy. Evolution proceeds in accordance with the Divine Purpose and Plan. Evolution is a directional process, and proceeds according to a divinely administered time schedule. But unreasoning faith and devotion lead astray and waste priceless time and energy. They delay spiritual progress and frustrate the Divine Intent. It is difficult enough for the human spirit to make its way through matter without clinging irratio­nally to "false gods."
Blind faith: The sixth ray is associated first with the sense of touch and only later with sight. Sixth ray people grope and feel their way through the darkness, all the while struggling to "see the vision." When, at last, a vision appears, they are quick to believe there is none other. Having any vision (however small and dim) seems preferable by far to the state of darkness, and so they look no further. They are content merely to believe in what they see. But it is blind belief, blind faith, because it refuses to admit further light. All attention is given to the faithful preservation of the vision, and none to its expansion, refinement and further illumination.
The seeker has shifted his emphasis from seeking to believing. To the seeker who "believes with all his might," any glimmer of additional light is seen as a threat to the adequacy of the vision in which he staunchly believes. But, believe as he will, the vision (lit with 'partial light') must, eventually, fail to satisfy. The visionary's intensity of faith begins to flag as the vision loses its appeal and seems to fade. Partial light becomes as dissatisfying as darkness was before. Oppressed by the gathering gloom, he is inwardly compelled to begin his search anew, seeking a vision more luminous.
So-called "blind faith" protects many sixth ray people from having to recognize the inadequacy of that in which they believe. They love the idea that they have found their "salvation" (be it a faith, a person, or a system of ideals). Their discovery of the "true one" or the "true way" relieves them of the tremendous anxiety they felt as desperate seekers. Their uncertainty is over, and any lingering doubt is drowned in the great effusions of faith and enthusiasm they lavish upon the object of their devotion. There is, in "blind faith" a certain willful blindness which spares the believing one the anxiety of having to look further.
Excess; extremism; hyper-intensity; overdoing: The motto of those upon the sixth ray might well be, 'Everything in excess'; or, 'If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.' Sixth ray people are the great extremists, immoderate in all things, always living "to the hilt."
The cause of this hyper-intense, "full-throttled" living is, again, fear. The sixth ray psyche is desperate. Sixth ray people want only one thing, and that one thing must be
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accomplished at all costs. They invest everything they are, spending themselves at full intensity lest they fail to achieve.
Skillful living requires the modulation of energy. Perhaps, this is why those upon the sixth ray so often live clumsily, touching everyone and everything with too heavy a hand. The 'switch' on their energy system has only two settings: on and off. When the switch is on (and it is so most of the time) energy pours through their vehicles with unremitting intensity, regardless of how inappropriate such an unregulated release may be with respect to environmental conditions. The switch may also be turned off with equal inappropriateness.
One of the major problems is that the emotional elemental needs drastic disciplining. Sixth ray emotions are powerful and insistent, and much time must pass before there is any real ability to restrain, redirect and sublimate them. It is the nature of the emotions (ruled, to a great extent, by the fiery planet Mars) to be ever urging towards the fulfillment of desire. Desires are blind; they "want what they want when they want it." Desires are oblivious to conditions, and are simply intent upon their own satisfac­tion. Left to its own devices, the emotional body (the "desire body") would "go for it" all the time. When sixth ray people learn to control their emotions intelligently, they will be successful in "co-measuring" their energy expenditure against the need of the moment. Until that time, they will simply be "too much" for most people to take, and their hyper-intensity will drain their vital reserves prematurely. The unfortunate result is "burn-out" and early collapse.
Unvarying one-pointedness; ultra-narrow orientation; mania: "Run not so straight" is the advice given by the wise soul to the one-pointed personality in hot pursuit of its objective. The sixth ray path to fulfillment is ever predictable—the never-varying straight line. Parallel paths and circuitous routes are both considered dangerous (i.e., errant). The road trodden is, therefore, repeatedly the same one; the furrow grows deeper and deeper.
Since, for those upon the sixth ray, energy tends to flow along a single path, it intensifies and becomes highly concentrated. A terrific charge is built up. Those who have experienced sixth ray people discoursing or acting upon their favorite subject under­stand how impossibly intense (and wearisome) their relentless, high-voltage approach can be. If their one-pointed pursuits are carried too far, a situation of psychological imbalance supervenes; such people become a danger to themselves and others.
A "mania" (according to Webster) is an "excessive or unreasonable enthusiasm," and a "maniac" is "a person characterized by an inordinate or ungovernable enthusiasm for something." Mania is a psychopathology induced by the sixth ray. In the case of certain sixth ray people, one-pointed enthusiasm becomes intensified to the degree that it absorbs all available psychological energy, rendering the individual entirely unadapt­able and unfit for the varied demands of normal living. One all-consuming, obsessive
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desire takes the place of evolutionary progress towards a well-balanced, rounded-out life. The lunar lords (blindly seeking their own satisfaction) overcome the rational, regulating soul-infused mind. Under their spell, a man becomes a lunatic (one who is the slave of lunar influence), and plunges deeper and deeper into form, ruled (it is interesting to note) by the number six, as well as by the Moon.
Fanaticism and militarism: Some of the names of the great Lord of the Sixth Ray demonstrate qualities which, if misapplied, will manifest as fanaticism and militarism:
The One Who sees the Right
The Hater of Forms
The Warrior on the March
The Sword Bearer of the Logos
The Crucifier and the Crucified
The Breaker of Stones
The Imperishable Flaming One
The One Whom Naught Can Turn
The Implacable Ruler
Certain of these names seem almost more related to the first ray than to the sixth. The Tibetan offers an interesting statement in this regard:
The sixth ray, it should be remembered, when it constitutes the personality ray of a man or a group, can be far more destructive than the first ray, for there is not so much wisdom to be found, and, as it works through desire of some kind, it is following the line of least resistance for the masses, and can therefore the more easily produce physical plane effects. Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, p. 144.
Fanaticism and militarism are characteristic of a consciousness which is too narrow to understand the divinely-intended cooperative interaction of the many aspects of the whole. Limited vision and unlimited enthusiasm make the fanatic. The fanatic pushes his point of view to the detriment of all other points of view. Not only will he destroy others in his unrestrained attempt to achieve his ends, but he frequently destroys himself as well. There is no force he will not employ to reach his goal: hence, his militarism.
Sixth ray people desire one thing too much, and other things too little. What makes them so dangerous (when aroused) is their obliviousness to the consequences of their actions. They become supercharged, disintegrative elements within any whole, making trouble on every hand, and tearing apart the fabric of relationship.
Fanatics and militarists suffer from excessive intensity. The Latin word "fanaticus" suggests one who (inspired by a deity) becomes frenzied. The Tibetan tells us that "the
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man on this ray is often of gentle nature, but he can always flame into fury and fiery wrath... As a soldier, he hates fighting but often when roused in battle fights like one possessed." There is something potentially wild and uncontrollable (daemonic) about sixth ray people when they lack sufficient mentality to balance their emotional intensity. Their emotional energy builds to such a tremendous pitch, that its release can be dramatic and destructive in the extreme.
The only cure for fanaticism is broadened vision. Narrowness feeds intensity and encourages the intensely destructive release of energy. But unfortunately, emotional pressure usually militates against the entry of the light which brings vision. The fanatic thrives on "more heat and less light." Sweet reason will not transform the situation. Usually, only an intense catharsis, an orgy of real or symbolic "bloodletting," will reduce the emotional pressure and allow the light to penetrate. Before the fanatic can see, he must play his part in what might be called a 'theatre of release.' It may be a battlefield, a pulpit, a newspaper column, the stage, etc.—whatever will offer him opportunity for 'psychophysical decompression.' Djwhal Khul writes that "Sixth ray people need handling with care..." (EsotericPsychology, Vol. II, p. 144)
Emotionalism: Sixth ray people are the most emotional of all the ray types. As frequently pointed out, there is a strong resonance between the sixth ray, the emotional body, the elemental lives who constitute the sixth plane (the plane of the emotions) and the "fiery" sixth ray planet Mars, as well as the "watery" sixth ray planet Neptune (both of which are closely associated with the emotional life of humanity). Sixth ray people are given to emotional displays. No matter how well controlled they may seem, they can easily be "moved to tears."
The "militant" little book called Light on the Path, given out by the Master Hilarion, contains an important statement concerning the mastery of emotions: "Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears." One who is the victim of emotionalism is 'drowning' in the waters of the emotional plane, submerged in glamor. Glamor veils and distorts the light. As long as one tries to see through tears (especially the tears of self-pity), there will be no clear vision of reality. It is interesting that those who are most successful at dissipating glamor are strongly conditioned by the sixth ray. In occultism, one is obliged, eventually, to compensate for one's weaknesses and transform them into strengths.
Selfish and jealous love; excessive attachment: The sixth ray is a ray of love, and the Systemic Law conditioned by the sixth ray is the "Law of Love." Those upon the sixth ray work with magnetic, attractive energy, just as do those upon the second. But, as frequently pointed out, sixth ray vision is far narrower, and the loves of sixth ray people are frequently (to put it mildly) unwise.
Jealous love is not real love at all; it arises from a desire to possess the object of affection for the sake of one's own satisfaction, and for the support of one's own self-image. It is
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a clinging love filled with fear—fear of abandonment, separation, rejection, aloneness, and, ultimately, fear of annihilation. Selfish and jealous love arise in those who have a very low self-image, and who, consequently, demand the constant and exclusive attentions of the loved one in order to strengthen that fragile image. Attentions which deviate, even slightly, are interpreted as a great threat to the jealous love—an unforgiv­able assault upon an extremely fragile personal ego.
Sixth ray people are very prone to this kind of neurotic love. They are innately inclined to feelings of inferiority which they attempt to exorcise through devotion. Devotion to an idealized love object raises the devoted lover. Sixth ray people (always inclined to look up) place their loved one upon the proverbial pedestal. They do not love the real person, but an idealized image of that person. The loved one is forced to conform to the idealized image, regardless of psychological and spiritual discomfort. In fact, the loved one is very likely to be damaged by attempting to uphold an artificial and idealized pose, but the idealistic (and selfish) lover is blind to this. He is only interested in sustaining his idealistic projection, and the self-exalting satisfactions which such sustainment brings.
One can see in all this, that the sixth ray lover frequently doesn't really care about the one he 'loves.' The love is purely selfish, no matter how many flattering glamors and illusions hover around the relationship, disguising the selfish motive. The problem is sixth ray dependency. Selfless love is not a dependency relationship, but sixth ray people, who have not found their own center of strength, are the most dependent of ray types, and are continuously looking for psychospiritual sustenance (and, even, physical sustenance) outside themselves.
There is something childlike and, even, childish about the way sixth ray people approach love. In the normal development of the human being, jealousy arises very early in life with a child's demand for 'exclusive rights' to a parent (usually, the mother). Time, however, will usually bring a sense of independence, and the security to face life on one's own. The terror of being separated from the mother subsides as the child begins to mature. Sixth ray people, however, often carry their emotional dependencies far into adult life. Clearly, they have a lot of growing up to do. More than any of the other ray types, they must remember that which ultimately sustains them, is, essentially, deep within themselves. Their psychology will change dramatically when they realize that they themselves are "the Beloved" they so ardently seek.
Unwise susceptibility to guidance: Sixth ray people always know that there is some­thing greater than themselves. This, in itself, is a healthy realization, but when accompanied by a nagging sense of one's lowliness and inferiority, it leads to the negation of one's talents and potentials. There arises the unwholesome attitude that 'all good things originate outside the self.' The individual loses all confidence in his own understanding, and becomes one who can be easily led.
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Today, especially among spiritually-inclined people, we hear constant reference to "guides" (usually inner guides), and the 'infallible' guidance they offer. Of course, there are inner guides and it behooves the developing individual to be sensitive to the contours of the Divine Plan as it is understood and revealed by those who dwell upon the inner planes. But the 'epidemic' of "channeling," and of running after so-called "divine guidance" for assistance with even the most insignificant, mundane decisions, is a symptom of the loss of soul contact.
Sixth ray people are natural followers. If the voice they follow is that of their own soul, they will move rapidly towards spiritual fulfillment. But wherever the sixth ray is strong, there is usually a need for considerable discrimination. The non-discriminating sixth ray type cannot easily tell one 'guiding voice' from another. To some of these people, every voice is the "voice of God." For the sake of spiritual progress (and safety) it is imperative that sixth ray individuals apply themselves to finding their own spiritual center, the soul, and learn how to commune with that source of guidance, rather than with the many far more glamorous (and far more unreliable) sources.
Superstition and gullibility; lack of realism: Sixth ray people are animated by the "will to believe." Perhaps, it would be more accurate to call it the 'wish to believe.' Instinctively, they know that "the best is yet to be," and their innate idealism tells them that "things as they are," are but a poor appearance of a truer, yet invisible, reality. Believing that all things are possible, they are anxious for some of those things to begin happening. This attitude makes them easy prey for those who either deliberately lie, or simply fail to verify the truth of what they assert. In short, there are quite a few sixth ray people who will "believe anything they are told."
Again, discrimination and an increasing mental polarization are required to remedy the situation. The so-called "Dark Ages" which occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire were centuries in which the light of the mind was sadly obscured. Learning retreated into monastic centers, and superstition and credulity were rampant. The sixth ray was gathering strength. The orientation of consciousness was towards "heaven" or the higher worlds, and discriminating knowledge of the physical plane was greatly under­valued. During such times, it was quite easy and natural to believe many incredible things. There was no way to verify the accuracy of what was presented as fact. The consciousness of the average person was hungry for miracles—supernatural events which proved the nearness and reality of divine beings. If, with God, anything was possible, why should not all things be possible? The preposterous, the unreasonable— such concepts had little meaning, especially among the uneducated. Further, the Piscean Age was an Age of authority. Truth could be determined only by an appeal to those who had the authority to represent the truth. Such authorities were credulous as well, and, in any case, found it to their advantage to promote credulity among the masses.
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The major cause of superstition and credulity among sixth ray people is their orienta­tion towards dimensions of awareness which cannot be observed at first hand (except by the most accomplished mystics and occult investigators). There can be no agreement upon what is possible if there is no possibility of reliable observation. The fifth and seventh rays, entering in strength after the Renaissance, called for a radical reorientation of consciousness—a concentration upon fields of perception which were definitely observable; namely, the physical plane. The concrete mind eventually regained the respectability it had lost during the "Age of Faith," and the grossest superstitions, at least, were devalued as unlikely, preposterous, and, even, absurd.
Humanity is now preparing to enter a new phase of its historical development— perhaps, a more spiritual phase. Certainly, once again, there is an unabashed orienta­tion towards higher (and, mostly unprovable) things, and, as might be expected, superstition and credulity are rife. Fortunately, during the past 500 years, the mind has been raised to a preeminent position, and will not meekly retreat into the background while outrageous spectres hovering around the fringes of 'spiritual' thought claim center stage. It is likely, therefore, that spirituality will now unfold more sanely, and will be wisely balanced by the rational mind with its priceless fund of accumulated knowledge. The soul, it must be remembered, is a mental entity. The new spirituality involves the cultivation of soul light and love. Soul contact is an antidote to spiritual absurdity.
Self-abasement; masochism; the martyr-complex: So many of humanity's psycholog­ical problems come from low self-esteem, and its frequent consequence—self-hatred. In the "world of becoming" all units of life normally and naturally seek to expand, to express themselves ever more fully—to be more. But the expression of the life force can become twisted, perverted and involuted. The world of becoming is bipolar. There is an evolutionary urge, but not all units of life evolve. As The Secret Doctrine and The Rosicrucian Cosmoconception have demonstrated in relation to the anthropoid apes, what might be called 'devolution' is also a possibility. There is a path of degeneration as well as a path of ascent.
It is possible for the human being to come under the sway of the "Death Instinct," which Freud (from his particular perspective) called "Thanatos." When this anti-evolutionary trend afflicts those upon the sixth ray, they begin to devote themselves to self-defeat. Having given up all hope of rising, they gain a perverted 'pleasure' from failing. Convinced of their lowliness, they become determined to remain separated from that which uplifts. Normally, sixth ray people aspire to the heights, but if they are repeatedly frustrated, they may take refuge in the "conviction of sin." Unable, for whatever reason to rise, they dedicate themselves to that inability, and, with perverse determination, resolve (albeit unconsciously) to remain "on the bottom."
There are a host of mental/emotional illnesses which are characterized by this atti­tude—the miserable refusal to ascend. People afflicted by a diseased self-esteem block
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the natural upward striving of the life force, and, instead, turn it against themselves, thus creating a condition of wretched suffering which seems to justify their sense of worthlessness and impotence. They create an accelerating downward spiral which feeds upon itself.
Sixth ray people need to be wholly dedicated to something. Constitutionally, they rebel against self-division; they cannot "do things halfway," and they will not move in opposing directions simultaneously (as those upon the fourth ray so frequently do). If they cannot ascend, then, at least they will descend—one-pointedly, passionately. If they cannot rise in triumph, then at least they will throw themselves, without reserva­tion, into suffering. If they cannot reach the ideal, then they will wallow in the mud. Theirs is ever the way of extremity.
Fortunately, the upward drive of the life force is stronger than any miserable, self-defeating perversions. So, despite their conviction of lowliness, they are carried onward and upward with all other forms of life. At length they discover that they cannot lose themselves or annihilate themselves in suffering. Because they are individualized human beings, the oblivion they sought is denied them. There is no way to permanently lose the self in lowliness. Self-obliteration is ultimately impossible. Thus, inevitably, they must turn from identification with the low, and again yearn for union with the high. It is the way of life, and irresistible.
Unnatural suppression of the instinctual nature: Sixth ray people are in a hurry. They flee matter and "reach for the stars." They despise whatever holds them down, and give unqualified praise to whatever they believe may uplift them. The instinctual nature (the animal part of man) ties him to earth. In particular, the organs of generation are the apparent cause of his sojourn through this "vale of tears." According to this way of thinking, if "heaven" or "the ideal" is good, then life upon the physical plane (and all that causes human life upon the physical plane) must be evil. The reproductive organs, and all human behavior surrounding their use, are (from this distorted sixth ray perspective) responsible, then, for confining the soul to its mortal, corruptible prison. Sexuality, even if divorced from reproduction, lures man towards the earth, and makes him forget his origin in immaterial, ideal realms. The other appetites, too—especially, the love of eating and drinking, hold the human being down to earth. It has been said that "food is the chains of the devil." From the perspective of those who long for release from this "mortal coil," it can be seen why the instinctual nature is regarded as an 'enemy.'
Even when there is no decidedly 'Christian' antagonism to earthly appetites (for Christianity was, during its ascendancy, conditioned by the world-denying influences of Pisces, Scorpio and the sixth ray), many sixth ray people become so preoccupied with the pursuit of their ideals, that they ignore the body's just requirements. These people push themselves too hard, refusing to eat and rest properly. Ignoring the body's rhythms, they force it (in an unnatural manner) to do their bidding. Their life style is
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so intense and driving that it cannot be called "normal." The result is often a broken or, even, shattered physical mechanism, and a term of earthly activity (or service) which is cut short because the voice of instinct is repeatedly ignored.
The opposite approach is also possible, and no less extreme. Sixth ray people often 'ride their instincts to death.' They throw themselves into an orgy of self-indulgence— especially, sexually, for sexuality is related to union—the primary psychological moti­vation of the sixth ray individual. Instincts have a relatively circumscribed place in the normal, modern life, and are not meant to become vehicles for extreme desires. Sixth ray people will force anything to extremity.
From both perspectives, then, the sixth ray attitude towards the instinctual nature is not a harmonious one (something which those upon the fourth ray are more likely to achieve). Perhaps, this is because instincts, with their rhythms and points of satiation, represent the cyclic limitations of form. The sixth ray Lord is the "Hater of Forms" and through an extreme attitude, either of denial or indulgence, sixth ray people attempt to negate the restraining effect which form necessarily has upon them. When they learn to love form, as a manifestation of Divine Creativity, they will treat their instinctual nature with greater respect.
Idealistic impracticality: It is hard to watch where one is going if one's head is in the clouds. Sixth ray people (like those upon the abstract aspect of ray three) do not like to "tread the path of earth." Their true interest is elsewhere, and, perhaps, in those few earthly, mundane things that one must do to reach that 'elsewhere.'
Practicality is very much a function of attention. Anyone can handle affairs upon the physical plane, if he pays attention to its requirements. But if the physical level of life is considered irksome and obstructive, and if the consciousness is focused abstractly, entirely upon values and qualities, rather than upon the forms which embody those values and qualities, then physical plane life will not be handled intelligently. Many sixth ray people are in great need of common sense. Common sense is powerful when the five senses are used to the full, and the inner man cares about the data they convey. This is not the case with many sixth ray people, just as it was not the case during the Middle Ages. About otherworldly things and ideals, sixth ray people may be very 'practical' (i.e., attentive), but they tend to neglect material affairs unless many lives of physical plane experience and a relatively high point of evolution have shown them the foolishness of doing so.
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