The purpose of esotericism is to hasten the evoIutionary processes in man, so as to produce a being who has surpassed the limitations of human existence. The major human limitation is mortality. Once the evolutionary process has run its course and the human being has become a Master, he can either preserve the body in which he took the fifth initiation, or he can create a body (the mayavirupa) by power of the mind and will, with which to approach those who still dwell in the three worlds if need should arise.
Physical immortality is not the objective of esoteric development, it is simply one of the by products of the process. Its important at the outset that beginners realise that esoteric development is not simply a philosophy or way of looking at the world. The objective is to become a Master.
Within a few years of my search for esoteric teachings I soon realised there were very few bodies of real esoteric knowledge available in print.
This is not really surprising because there are only a few thousand people in the world today who are able and willing to make substantial use of these teachings. The Hierarchy of Masters only give out that much of the sacred wisdom that will be made use of in any particular era. Teachings are always veiled in some way to guard them from the profane, and this is done in various ways.
They are spread out through many volumes of books so that time and effort needs to be expended to find the relevant information, and they are given out through different authors whose work will to those who see not, will seem unconnected, and thus important correlations and correspondences will not take place. Time and effort must therefore be expended if one wants to obtain the complete picture.
Esoteric writings are veiled in other ways also.
In my view, one of the most complete systems of initiation has been given in the 24 books by the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul, usually referred to as DK. In these books the Hierarchy has given out a huge volume of new information which has never been given out to the public before during the 5th root race, which is about 100,000 years old. Another important system is the series of three books written by Franz Bardon. The first of these three books gives a series of practical exercises which enable the student to gain complete control of her energy system. It’s not a system for the beginner. When DK wrote his 24 books via Alice Bailey he was a Master, theres no doubt about this; its highly likely that he is now a Chohan of the 6th initiation. Franz Bardon, was I believe, also a Master, probably of the 5th initiation, he may also have taken the 6th initiation by now. However, as far as I know, 6th degree initiates generally do not take physical bodies and incarnate among humans, it would be a waste of there energies to do so. Therefore its more likely that he was only a 5th degree initiate when he was functioning as Franz Bardon during the first part of the last century. The relative values of the writings of these two Master’s may be a matter of debate, but in my view both are needed. Missing out on either will leave a gaping hole in ones spiritual education.
I believe the truly earnest student of esotericism needs both teachings. Both systems cater for the advanced student in different ways.
Bardon has given us one of the most extensive and yet concise systems of practical magical training I have ever come across. An absolute beginner could take his first book (Initiation into Hermetics) and train himself, step by step, in the practicalities of magic and self mastery. It is a most concise manual for self initiation. In theory it is all one needs in terms of hands on exercises. In practice, there are very few people who are able to complete the first book (all ten steps) in their present incarnation. It is an incredibly intense training system, and any headway made in this life will be the platform for further advances in the next and other lives. Those who are able to complete the exercises in the first book “Initiation to Hermetics” will have been working along this path for many lives and are now ripe in this one. They are drawing on skills hard earned in other lives prior to the current one. I will be examining the nature of incarnation cycles in other articles, here I will simply state the fact that developmental themes follow cycles of three seven and sometimes eleven lives. Esoteric training follows the same time periods, which is why it is impossible to do it all in one life.
Bardon writes for the advanced student, DK writes for both, and amazingly, the larger part of his work can be read on all levels at once. It’s not possible to see this until after some years of study. The beginner will find what he needs, and will build on this in later incarnations; while the advanced student will also find that DK has given us a wealth of information that has never been given out by the Hierarchy before. Here are some of the topics covered although it is in no way an exhaustive list. Detailed new information on the seven centres, a mass of new information on the seven rays, esoteric astrology, the various Laws, (soul laws, the cosmic laws, the systemic laws), the colors, various mantras, the science of the triangles, esoteric history, meditation theory and forms, the devas, time cycles of all lengths, personality, Soul and Monadic incarnation cycles, 14 rules for aspirants, 14 rules for initiates, 15 rules for white magic, information on the Cosmic paths followed after the 6th initiation (this is not found anywhere else), a mass of information on the nine initiations, rules for esoteric healing, commentaries on Patanjalis Yoga Sutras, information on the plans for the Externalisation of the Hierarchy, information on the reappearance of the world teacher, the Creative Hierarchies, the ten seed groups, the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, and other kingdoms, a mass of information on our Solar System, other Constellations and the source of extra solar energies etc.
Both Bardon and the Tibetan have given a wealth of information on the devas, but they explain it in a very different way. Many exercises that DK (the Tibetan) doesn't give, are given in plain language by Bardon. But DK also gives a wealth of meditation work with various forms, his letters with instructions and commentaries to his students in the two volumes of Discipleship in the New Age are a good example of this. A graded series of meditations are given in these two books, also there’s a huge volume of material on meditation scattered throughout the various books.
DK has veiled somewhat the information he gives on the significance and purpose of the letters of the alphabet, whereas Bardon has given this information in a totally open and straightforward manner. For example, DK states, "It is the coming in of the "A" sound which affects the severance or liberation of the initiate from the three worlds." (Occult Meditation 154) Liberation from the three worlds takes place at the 5th initiation so the "A" sound must come in before that because it affects the liberation from the three worlds. The letter "A" is connected with the number one and therefore with Ray one. Students of the seven rays know that the rays are associated with time cycles. The first ray for instance, is associated with all cycles such as 1, 10, 100, 1,000 years, 10,000 years or 1million years etc. The letter "A" then, as a first ray letter must under the law of correspondences be connected with these aforementioned ray cycles. As far as I know this line of investigation has not been pursued to date.
The following quote refers to the Cosmic path of Magnetic work (the 2nd Path), one of the paths open to the initiate after the 6th initiation. But why are these four letters associated with this path? " The mystic Word is veiled by letters four - E, M, and A and O - in the significance of their numbers and the utilisation of their colours is the smoke dissipated." (CF 1271) DK talks very little about the letters, or their practical application in magic, whereas Bardon, in his third book, "The Key To The True Kabbalah" has given us a very full explanation with instructions for using the tetrapolar magnet, or YHVH also known as the “Tetragrammaton”. This is the lost word. DK has said that it is only the initiate of the third degree who can begin the search for the lost word.
The following quote is further evidence of a direct relationship between the letters, rays and time cycles. "Comparatively few of the Members of our Hierarchy have yet been able to reach the state or condition of development which would warrant Their forming a part of the Great Council, or which would enable them to respond to the O, sounded out at intervals of one hundred years by Sanat Kumara. It is this sound which gathers together the responsive Units into the Council...1725, 1825, 1925 etc."
As you can see, I think the Tibetan's and Franz Bardon's books are complementary and should be studied together, they are both core requirements for a full esoteric education. In particular I believe these two bodies of knowledge taken together will reveal the connection between the cosmic letters, the rays, and the ray cycles (time cycles).