We are all conditioned; it is the means by which we members of the human family preserve and develop our sense of identity. The categories which we use and pass on to another generation, provide continuity, enable us to make sense of our experience in incarnation, and permit us to communicate with and understand each other.
We come into incarnation with predispositions and assumptions and we add to them throughout the course of our lives.
An esoteric education will draw attention to the fact that we are limited by our conditioning, and of course we are, just as we are limited by the process of incarnating itself, but where would consciousness be without it? Where would consciousness be without conditioning; and which person with awareness does not work intelligently with the opportunity to impress the mind, because mind is the soil that nurtures consciousness.
All of us in incarnation now, regardless of individual ray profile, have a perception of spirituality, which has been conditioned by the Sixth Ray.
The Sixth Ray has ‘specialised’ in the refining of the energy of desire: raising it from the solar plexus, releasing us from the thrall of physicality, turning desire into aspiration and stimulating the heart centre. In this way the Christ energy is awakened.
Through long years, untold numbers of personalities and innumerable lives, the spirituality of the Sixth Ray, which in the West has found its most potent expression in Christianity, has processed and refined the violence, anger and greed within the collective human psyche. It has done its job and that work is now bearing fruit. There are now people in incarnation, who are no longer polarised in the emotions and who do not perceive themselves as suffering or needy. They are ready and available for planetary service. Many of these individuals are on the Fourth Ray.
The ability of the Fourth Ray to find its way into consciousness and into our daily lives is a testimony to the efficacy of the refining work done by Sixth Ray spirituality. We will look at this in the next article.
The Sixth Ray has shaped the assumptions and expectations and practices of generation upon generation, and shapes them still. We all know how we must behave in order to be recognised as spiritually aware. In the West, we understand that we must demonstrate humility, honesty, obedience, consideration, gentleness and meekness, because these qualities are perceived to materialise in our lives an ideal that was embodied 2,000 years ago in Jesus Christ, but which are also considered to be timeless measures of spiritual attainment. They represent spirituality as we understand it. Cinematic presentations of spiritual beings attest to this, and will offer us a gentle-mannered, Christ-like personality, who we will all instantly recognise. We simply would not perceive a First Ray adventurer as a spiritual being because we have no model for this kind of spirituality.
In this way we have been conditioned and are conditioned still although the young are resistant to it because they recognise the limitation in the model. Where in the anxiety about perfection and its opposite and about personal attainment, is the space for love of life itself? Monadic consciousness, which is the consciousness of spirit, cannot take hold where there is no love of life.
We describe the attributes of, rather than define, spirituality itself because we are identified with the form that spirituality has taken in our lives and the lives of our ancestors. Yet if we were to define spirituality then we too might better recognise the limitations of the Sixth Ray model. If spirituality is a process of refining energy, and refining energy raises vibration and lifts awareness above the limitations of 3-D reality, then spirituality is a process which will always involve energy management. But it does not have to go, as the Sixth Ray model does, via perfectability, and its opposite, which can make us fearful of ourselves and the adventure of our lives.
There are many ways in which energy can be refined, depending upon which energy centres are the focus of activity, and they are not interchangeable. We do not open the head centres by the means used to subdue the desire nature, but neither will we try to open the head centres without having the solar plexus under control because this produces what Theosophy calls ‘the Black Magician’: one who uses power for his own ends. Before we can become useful we must become harmless, and this has been the remit of the Sixth Ray.
An open heart centre takes consciousness out of separation. We understand that a heart centre at least ready to open presents the basic minimum requirement for participation in Planetary life after 2012.
This being the case, then the Sixth Ray, which deals in the refinement of solar plexus energy, has served its purpose and is being withdrawn.
Those already in incarnation with the Sixth Ray strong in their make-up will turn increasingly to the things and personalities of the past for the nourishment that they seek. And spiritually at least, one generation will become unintelligible to another. We are seeing this in action now too.
This way conditioning is weakened and changed.
We can release ourselves now from the stunting position of children needing to learn obedience from a stern, but benevolent father and super-achieving brother, which made us fearful to take responsibility for ourselves, to experiment and to make mistakes.
In the past 30 years, for many of those for whom organised religion has become discredited, the Masters have become the benevolent father figures: as all knowing and all seeing as God Himself.
If there is a problem in this perception it is surely that it too encourages compliance and dependency. On the eve of 2012 this compliance takes us no where. The Masters are neither all knowing nor all seeing, although they have a good deal more wisdom and vision than us, it is true. They are workers on behalf of humanity and they need us now to engage intelligently and take up responsibilities for ourselves and for our planet at this critical time.
The Sixth Ray has supported childlike, suffocating and frequently sentimental relationships because human consciousness could respond to them. They provide a comfort and support to those, who desire to escape from the pains of life, and are available to educated and uneducated alike. But once they cease to inspire – as they will do increasingly as the Sixth Ray recedes - they will be seen to create morbidity, mawkishness and an obsessive concern with self.
For all its talk of selflessness, the spirituality of the Sixth Ray is all about self: salvation for self, comfort for self, healing for self, consolation for self, learning compassion in order to benefit self. It is about what is going on within us. It is spirituality for the state of separation. It permits us to understand what separation is and how it works out in our own minds and lives, by being made aware of its opposite. We do not readily perceive the self-centredness of the aspirant because he is protected by a glamour. The Sixth Ray stamped itself on the New Age thinking because we could not envision a different way of opening up to higher aspects of ourselves, even though certain New Age ideas were a direct challenge to emotionality and submissiveness. Rarely did they challenge self-centredness, but we have to go beyond it now in order to become planetary citizens.
It is inappropriate to engage with the Sixth Ray in a spirit of negativity and criticism, as many are now inclined to do. We can recognise its limitations without devaluing its achievements. It has had a dirty job to do. In transforming the desire for things of the physical world into an aspiration for something higher, it has done work of incalculable importance in our planetary system and goes on now to do its work in another system.
But when the sound is no longer right then it does not make an effective appeal, as many are now finding. It is not that the old model can no longer deliver the goods; it is rather that the goods are not desirable to people, who are no longer polarised in the lower emotional nature, and do not perceive themselves as needy. They are, rather, in search of purposeful activity and opportunity.
Yet understand that the problem is not that of spirituality itself; the problem is the packaging. It is time to renew it. Spiritual forms which contain nothing that we can draw upon are like empty boxes and this is disconcerting to us because if our spirituality cannot engage us, what then?