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As we have said in earlier issues of this newsletter, initiation is a subject of great complexity, often accompanied by much glamour and confusion. To help remove some of the mystique and glamour surrounding this concept, in the book, Brotherhood, the Agni Yoga teachings suggest the substitution of education for the word initiation and knowing or cognizant for the initiated one. An accompanying statement asserts that "knowledge is not for the elect but for all." This thought is in keeping with the teachings of the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul who indicates in the books of Alice Bailey that the Aquarian Age is the age that will see more people take initiation than ever before in human history. It is the age in which millions within humanity have the opportunity to attain one or other of the first three initiations. For this reason much information and detail is provided in such books as Initiation Human and Solar and The Rays and the Initiations.

The word, initiation, comes from the same root as the Latin initia, which means the basic or first principles of any science. And, indeed, initiation refers to the scientific progress of the Soul as it seeks to qualify and sequentially liberate Itself from the control of the matter, which it inhabits. Each initiation indicates that mastery of a certain plane has been accomplished and the qualities and attributes of the Soul can therefore be expressed more fully and powerfully. For example, as we indicated in an earlier newsletter, the second initiation is characterized by mastery over the emotional plane. The result is that the emotional nature then becomes the receptacle of the intuition or of buddhi-the energy or consciousness of love as "pure reason."

Although the initiation of transfiguration is the third planetary initiation, it is considered the first of the major initiations as it is the culminating point of strictly human unfoldment. The physical-etheric, the emotional and the mental vehicles of the personal self are completely transcended and the entire personality is irradiated by the full light of the Soul. This third initiation marks that stage in the evolution of consciousness when the energies of universal mind can begin to flow through the initiate into the objective world.

Describing the transfiguration of Jesus, the Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths indicates that "more and more of the celestial efflux descended upon him and was reflected in his expression of truth. And the without became as the within, the nature being perfect exteriorly as interiorly." The three years' ministry of Jesus corresponds to this third transfiguring initiation.

The Agni Yoga tradition refers to the cosmic joy that accompanies the transfiguration experience at which the individual consummates his/her earthly path: "Transfiguration is Our most wondrous foundation of cosmic fusion. That step of cosmic transfiguration, We call cosmic joy."2

In the Buddhist tradition, the stage of Anagamin is equivalent to transfiguration. Derived from the Sanskrit word, Anagam, this expansion of consciousness refers to the third grade of "holiness" before that of Arhat. It implies attainment by the Soul of a resolve to go through to the bitter end of experience and finish the course.

The whole of Cosmos is based on the law of reciprocity or mutuality. Where there is no response, there is no understanding and therefore, no result. Consequently, the individual passes through many cycles of incarnation before initiation can even become a considered possibility. It is only through constant cyclic effort and strenuous self-discipline that the physical-etheric and emotional vehicles can be refined adequately enough to vibrate responsively to Soul energies, thus making the first two initiations possible.

This third stage in the Soul's development is exceedingly more difficult and few there are who can free themselves from the magnetic or attractive "pull" emanating from the circumscribed and entrenched personality. Required are fierce determination, purpose and will as well as persistence and spiritual integrity. The Four Noble Truths enunciated by the Buddha provide a succinct summary of the platform upon which the third degree initiate must take a stand. Sacrificing the personal will to the Spiritual Will, the transfigured and soul-infused initiate demonstrates complete freedom from the claims and demands of the three planes (physical, emotional and mental) of the personal life.

For the first time in his/her long history, the third degree initiate experiences the union of three divine energies and in a sudden inflow of transfiguring glory he/she recognizes more fully than ever before his/her responsibility in the great Plan of Love and Light.

1 Mat. XVII, 2.
2 Infinity, par. 155.

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