Alice Bailey, the Etheric Web… AND Beyond
I recently read a book in the Alice Bailey series, ‘Initiation, Human & Solar’, which I thought would be worth sharing some thoughts about. I know from the advanced Visualization & Consciousness Sequence(1) Dr Ray referenced much of the material from Alice Bailey, in particular the very large volume, ‘Treatise on Cosmic Fire’.
I wanted to find a way to tackle the Treatise volume, so that it could be at least semi-intellectually comprehensible. After reading the various introductions in the Bailey books, as I purchased all 18 volumes a few years ago, decided to start with this book, ‘Initiation, Human & Solar’ & also the ‘Unfinished Autobiography’.
It seems logical after reading the introductions that this would provide a good background into the material before getting into the larger volume. The Initiation book talks about the various initiations that one passes through as they grow and how this relates to the path we are on and what is expected as one pass’s through each initiation. People, as it is explained are more hooked into the ceremony behind this, rather than the path in which we walk…which makes sense.
Dr Ray talks about the 1st initiation briefly in the later V&C Sequence. It is more or less explained that this is something that could be expected as one progress’s on the path. Looking at where Body Electronics is taking a person, such as refining our various physical, emotional and mental bodies, this in turn, leads us into the initiation process. So, worthy of investigation for those interested.
Dr Ray also explains much about the etheric web in the Logic in Sequence, as well as the V&C work with regards to its interaction with the physical, emotional & mental bodies. Bailey’s work provides one of the few references to gain a theoretical understanding of these concepts.
Bailey’s work points the way for further unraveling of the mental restrictions and how they interact with the various bodies, emotional, physical, mental etc. If this is our goal, then a necessary intellectual understanding is required so that a base can be built, which leads to more appropriate experiential understanding..which eventually takes us to a position where the intellectualism is let go…
Faith leads us to virtue and by applying ourselves intellectually we come to knowledge.. Knowledge is perhaps more of recognition of something we already understand and perhaps this is the ultimate point of Bailey’s work, that as we read we get spring boarded into concepts to guide us forward on the path.
As noted throughout the book, ultimately this material serves as a sign post for more appropriate experiential understanding on the mental/causal level. The style of writing is a mix of abstraction and defined concepts. The work, taken any other way could be very confusing, and it is suggested that this attitude of viewing things from mental perspective, as much as possible is adopted, whilst reading.
It would be worth reading the Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky, before or directly after the ‘Treatise on Cosmic Fire’, as Bailey suggests that the Treatise adds the psychological key for this series by Blavatsky. So there is definitely a much broader picture out there, then just Bailey’s work.
It is a worthy edition to the library for anyone interested in learning more about the background of some of the concepts discussed in modern day psychological-esoteric work. Also provides a great springboard forward beyond this, also.
Anyway, enjoy the read if you happen to pick it up.
I’d certainly be interested to hear other points of view on these various authors and books if you’ve read any other them please share..
- Visualization & Consciousness Sequence, (John Whitman Ray)