Some thoughts on freedom
or freedom from all the seven planes of our planetary existence—the planes which are sometimes referred to as the planes of human and superhuman evolution. You will have noted that lately I have been emphasising an aspect of initiation hitherto little emphasised—the aspect of freedom. The Path of Initiation has at times been called the Path of Liberation, and it is to this essential aspect of the initiatory process that I am seeking to call your attention. I have pointed out continuously that initiation is not really the curious mixture of self-satisfied attainment, ceremonial, and hierarchical recognition as portrayed by the major occult groups. It is far more a process of excessively hard work, during which process the initiate becomes what he is. This may entail hierarchical recognition, but not in the form usually pictured. The initiate finds himself in the company of those who have preceded him, and he is not rejected but is seen and noted and then put to work.
It is also a graded series of liberations, resulting in the attainment of increased freedom from that which lies behind in his experience; this carries with it the permission (soul enjoined or given) to proceed further on the WAY. These freedoms are the result of Detachment, Dispassion, and Discrimination. At the same time Discipline enforces and makes possible the hard work required to pass the grade. All these four techniques (for that is what they are) are preceded by a series of disillusionments which, when realised and comprehended, leave the aspirant no choice but to move forward into greater light.
I would like to have you study initiation from the angle of liberation, looking upon it as a process of strenuously attained freedoms. This basic aspect of initiation—when realised by the initiate—ties his experience into a firm relation with that of the whole of humanity, whose fundamental struggle is the attainment of that freedom "whereby the soul and its powers can unfold and all men be free because of an individually attained freedom."
If you will study the nine initiations and look upon them from this angle, you will see how each does most definitely mark a point of attainment, and therefore the entire subject of initiation takes on a new beauty and appears more worthy of the pain and struggle of attainment. Let me give you an indication (no more than that) of what I mean.
Initiation I. Birth. Freedom from the control of the physical body and its appetites.
Initiation II. Baptism. Freedom from the control of the emotional nature and the selfish sensitivity of the lower self.
Initiation III. Transfiguration. Freedom from the ancient authority of the threefold personality, marking a climaxing moment in the history of all initiates.
Initiation IV. Renunciation. Freedom from all self-interest, and the renouncing of the personal life in the interest of a larger whole. Even soul-consciousness ceases to be of importance and a more universal awareness, and one closer to the divine Mind, takes its place.
Initiation V. Revelation. Freedom from blindness—a liberation which enables the initiate to see a new vision. This vision concerns the Reality lying beyond any hitherto sensed or known.
Initiation VI. Decision. Freedom of choice. I have dealt with these choices in an earlier part of this book.
Initiation VII. Resurrection. Freedom from the hold of the phenomenal life of the seven planes of our planetary Life. It is in reality a "lifting out of or above" the cosmic physical plane.
Initiation VIII. Transition. Freedom from the reaction of consciousness (as that word is understood by you) and a liberation into a state of awareness, a form of conscious recognition which has no relation to consciousness, as you understand that term. It might be regarded as complete freedom from sensitivity, yet with a full flowering of that quality to which we give the inadequate name "compassion." More I cannot say.
Initiation IX. Refusal. Freedom from all possible forms of enticement, particularly with reference to the higher planes. It must constantly be remembered (and hence my constant reiteration) that our seven planes are the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane.
This goal of freedom is in reality the main incentive to tread the Path of Return. One of the most spiritually exciting things taking place in the world today is the use, in every country, of the word FREEDOM; it was that great disciple, F. D. Roosevelt, who "anchored" the word in a new and more universal sense. It now has a fuller and deeper meaning to humanity."
(Taken from The Rays and the Initiations pp.685-7)