To illustrate the natural process of the Primary Rays, imagine a still lake which represents the Second Ray. If we throw a stone into the water, we have used a First Ray action to initiate a result, and the ripples that spread across the lake as the stone hits the surface are Third Ray.
This demonstrates the impetus which First Ray energy is able to create, but first there has to be a still lake waiting for a stone to be thrown into it. The reaction of the stone hitting the water creates the form, as waves ripple out from the centre. As ripples, they have no form of their own, but their action can affect form indirectly, such as the movement of a leaf floating on the pondís surface.
The first three Rays are based on the Primaries, so the First and Second Rays can be too refined to function independently, and often work in conjunction with another Ray. The Third Ray is different; it marks the point where we leave the realms of intangibility and begin to enter the more tangible realms of craft. The Third Ray is where form begins; it is the root of imaginative thought which leads to ideas, and the translation of the intangible into form. From the Third Ray, the other four Rays of Attribute are born, to accomplish the ends begun with the Primaries. Rays Four through to Seven put Form into perspective, giving them the ability to manifest in our physical reality through a division into practical states of being.
Let us first look in more detail at the First Ray. It stands for the law, and the creative use and extension of the law as circumstances change, allowing more things to be encompassed. The natural energies working through the First Ray understand the law, are aware of the barriers created in the name of the law, but the true function of this Ray is to increase the extent of those barriers. A First Ray person will be aware of the law, but is responsible for showing its limitations. This can be done by setting an example, either through influence or confrontation, leading to the implementation of a new law. The same applies to scientific laws, which exist as truths until a new set of circumstances are discovered, which does not mean the law is broken, but that it requires redefinition to include new discoveries.
When an archetype is used by the First Primary, it is given the freedom to grow and evolve because the laws that govern its existence can be extended, and this is the true purpose of an occult symbol or archetypal image.
The First Ray is the most subjective Ray, but attempts to objectify its natural subjective life energies. The First Ray is above the duality of any opposites, as it is pure energy with a singular motive. For this reason, First Ray people exhibit an apparently selfish motivation with no consideration for another's opinion: a First Ray person knows and feels what he is doing is right.
The Second Ray works in the opposite way, it is the most objective Ray in one sense, but this creates a need to become subjective. Therefore, the Second Ray can also appear selfish, because people of this Ray are trying to resolve the duality: unlike the First Ray they are aware of the opposites but feel a compulsion to resolve them, by bringing them together in an act of love. The Second Ray person has the ability of seeing both sides of any situation and attempts to resolve their differences by attracting the opposing factors to join up as a singular reality.
This bears a slight similarity with the natural function of a Fourth Ray person. Whereas the Second Ray is aware of the two sides of any pair, this awareness is of the void that exists between them, however close they are brought together. Conversely, the Fourth Ray will use its own energies to actively become the void between disparaging elements, in order to dissolve the opposites. By introducing a different level of communication, it can resolve an apparent separateness for as long as the Fourth Ray continues to be involved, because a Fourth Ray soul has the ability to act as an activated angle. This is different to the Second Ray involvement with the relationship between opposites, which acts from the opposing poles rather than from the gap between them.
It is natural for the First Ray to function on more impersonal levels than the other two Primary Rays, because the Second Ray soul is far more concerned with individual people, their health and general well being, and the Third Ray deals with the natural world, nature and wildlife in general, the welfare of animals, and the ecological balance required to maintain a healthy environment. The reason for this is that the First Ray deals with energies; the Second Ray with consciousness and the Third Ray and the four Rays of Attribute deal with the manipulation of Devic form, from imaginative ideas, to art and crafts in general, to music, movement and dance, and the realisation of these ideas.
There is also a distinction between the Third Ray person, and those of the other craft Rays. Because Humans experience the energy involved in angular operations as memories, Third Ray people use their natural affinity with this energy to apply their memories in an efficient way. This often manifests as a unique talent, or a flair for organisation, both of which use the Third Ray personís ability to manipulate angles into form, rather than using angular energy to create, which functions through the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Rays.
As both consciousness and light are manifestations of the Second Primary, and divisions of consciousness and divisions of light are also Second Primary, we can see that the Rays must also represent divisions of consciousness and divisions of light. Through its obvious connection with light, colour is the essence of the Second Primary in the physical realm as well as in the higher levels, so it relates to Human beings both individually and collectively, and also to the manifestation of consciousness on every level. This is why Humanity represents the Second Primary, and why the Seven Rays are the divisions of the Second Primary. The only difference in higher manifestations of the Second Primary is a variation of the colour scales involved. Therefore, each Second Primary reality will only differ in the variation of colours found in its spectrum; so different colour scales will mark the different levels, but every level directly connected to the Second Primary will manifest colour. This results in a different variety of colours representing the same divisions of reality: colour variations are indicative of the consciousness level being experienced.
Colour varies considerably according to the different circumstances in which it is found because it exists on the borderline of the objective and subjective states, like a rainbow mirror which reflects manís opposing conscious conditions that are responsible for his normal awareness. Colours actually represent the sevenfold division of anything we can imagine through their intimate connection with consciousness.
The variety of hues or tones of colour are the purity and characteristics of each Ray being, but as the colours we see are incomplete this information is not particularly useful. The importance is the connection between colour and consciousness, and that colour can affect consciousness on every physical level, which can be useful in healing. This is different to sound and music, which are allied to the Third Primary, and work through the actual manipulation of angles.
As the Rays have a common source, they have definite relationships with each other, and this is another way we can understand their functions. The Second and Sixth Rays are similar in many ways as both are associated with various types of relationships, but with the Second Ray there is an impulse to remain individual with a preference for a partnership based on equality; whereas the Sixth Ray person tends to place their opposite number on a pedestal as their ideal, and is content with this unequal relationship.
Other pairs of Rays are less similar, although still easy to confuse as they share a common quality. As the Second and Sixth Rays are both concerned with all types of relationships, and are therefore predominantly emotional, so the First and Seventh Rays share the quality of the will and strength of purpose, and the Third and Fifth Rays share the quality of mind in all its diverse aspects.
The absence of the Fourth Ray in any of the above pairs does not imply that it is the easiest to distinguish. The opposite implication is nearer to the truth, as its atmospheric, co-ordinating and linking qualities make it compatible to any of the other Rays, and it can often work through many different Rays.
The Fourth Ray has influence over the higher and hidden parts of something which hold everything together, like the etheric web or angular structure, and so is naturally attracted to group situations, environments and atmospheres. It also functions on non-physical and intuitive levels, such as psychic atmospheres, tradition, geographical places or sites that have an aura of mystery. A Fourth Ray person naturally connects to the influence emanating from people, places or situations; and has the ability to create environments and atmospheres which will produce similar effects on others. They are true artists who can resolve conflict into harmony, but often at great personal involvement and cost.
The Seventh Ray is also able to connect with different areas of experience but uses a more objective and linear form of connection than the atmospheric linking of the Fourth Ray. With the Seventh Ray comes an objective solution to bridging the gap, and the only sense of involvement is the feeling of accomplishment without the personal attachment which is required by the Fourth Ray.
The Fifth ray works as the pursuit of an objective, a progressive refining process that leads to the ideal solution. This is continued through the Sixth Ray when the ideal solution becomes unification with perfection, and the intense unmoving desire for this unity eventually causes the reality to become earthed through the Seventh Ray.