Step 2 of inner/spiritual development (also called initiation) is the victory over fear in the feeling (astral). The victory succeeds in the necessary strength only in the consciousness of the immortality of the soul and thus also its wandering through many embodiments (incarnations). The omnipresent transfer of responsibility for the individual life to a higher instance (logos / God) in no way replaces the necessity of passing this struggle individually. Victory must be won by walking through the burning ground of the astral, blazing flames themselves.
All religions and ideologies whose principle is the creation of fear of a god in order to bind their followers to themselves inevitably prevent progress. Of course, as on every spiritual level, sufficient ethical love of humanity and corresponding action are presupposed.
Level 3 (third initiation) of soul-spiritual development requires a widened field of thought for the entire planet. The focus is on the current state of human development. All aspects of the planetary situation are included in one’s own thinking (mental) with different weighting. The reality of reincarnation is recognised. A coexistence of the inner spiritual life with the duties of the outer life can be mastered, and both aspects of life can be reconciled. The danger of falling into ambition in the inner spiritual life is under one’s own mental control. This point poses a great threat and not infrequently leads to wrong decisions at forks in the spiritual path and thus to fundamental failure.
The significance of this attained stage for humanity and planetary life as a whole is ever present through the lived thoughts, even without a discernible external efficacy.
Let us consider from a fundamental point of view the status of planetary life on the basis of the known fundamentals as given in the various teachings (Blavatsky, Bailey/Tibetans, R. Steiner).
The cycle of the spiritual cosmic-solar impulse down into material form had reached its lowest point about 150 years ago. The arc that is now rising again, with the withdrawal from the outer material, is perceptible and visible in the conflicts of humanity and in nature.
However, the pace of this process, many thousands of years according to external chronology, is influenced by the actions of humanity. The resources of water and plant food available to humanity are consumed faster than they can regenerate. Thus, need gives rise to conflicts that develop into real wars. The necessary corrections would have to take place on the mental level at level 3. But since a large part of humanity is imprisoned in the thought prison of the one-life ideology of religious leaders (Catholicism, Evangelicals, Islam), a forced acceleration of the degradation processes is evident. The thinkers, with their plans and ideas for overcoming the crisis, are not reaching the masses.
The panic and fear that thus arises plays into the hands of the religious seducers and additionally promotes the hedonism of hectic consumption and a deep egoism.
Two possible paths of further development can be expected:
- rapid depletion of vital resources in chaos, massive wars with self-destruction and partial uninhabitability of the earth
- Natural disasters as a subtle response of natural forces (volcanoes and tsunamis), a limited continuation of civilisation
Since the future goal of the Larger Life, namely the transfer of spiritual-soul entities into a higher form of existence, is inevitable, only the time span and the accompanying circumstances are to be considered.
In Agni Yoga, Helena Roerich describes the accompanying circumstances in the case of a great self-destruction or a rapid series of great natural disasters and then presents a threefold division of humanity:
- That group which has lived at least in level 3 can continue their development on another planet in the solar system (Jupiter, Venus). The test of the individual spirit souls is measured by their commitment to the common good during their last incarnations. This is to be understood spiritually as a sound vibration represented in the subtle body of the spirit-soul. This sound, mixed with tones, determines the attraction and repulsion for the further path. No one stands at a gate and lowers or raises a thumb. Within a karmically connected group, the group vibration can also be the deciding factor, even if individuals do not yet hit the note. Without the partial tone based on the confirmed mental truth of reincarnation, the vibration cannot be reached. From this group, some will certainly migrate to the new planet to continue the work for and on humanity, the others will be attracted to one of the other solar planets.
- The group of those who correspond to level 2 and who carry the truth of reincarnation within themselves and have also mentally lived the necessary ethics, will migrate to a new planet, which will then appear, and continue their development. The new physical shell realised there will be the condensed astral. Spiritually and psychically, the new planet is higher in development, as is to be expected in the sense of the ascension impulse.
- The very large rest of humanity is attracted to Saturn (not the visible one). The level of humanity or beingness there is lower than the current average on this planet.
So only the time period remains open and the question under which accompanying circumstances the described process takes place. For the larger and great life (solar / cosmic) this process is a normal harvesting process of developed spiritual substance.
Should the earthly process proceed under dramatic conditions (nuclear wars/global natural disasters), then units from level 3 could be silently withdrawn ahead of time, exposing the others of that level or higher who voluntarily remain behind to more extreme pressures.
It is not possible to determine the time frame here and now. For the theosophists from level 3 onwards, which means everyone, no matter what they call themselves (esotericists, occultists, etc.), participation in these processes still contains a special feature that did not exist before:
In the slow (or rapid) death of the planet’s life-bases, the level 3 thinker can perceive a condensing death-experience of the whole planetary life, as was hitherto only accomplished in the soul-death of the 4th initiation. At Level 4, the spiritual core takes over everything accumulated by the soul and rearranges it; the soul passes away and the transformed spiritual core takes over. At this experience of planetary development, the transition to level 4 can be prepared or completed at level 3.
Nothing more can be said about this possible mystery. The spiritual laws of ascension modify in application according to the overall evolution of the planet, such as in group initiation.
The spirit soul has three parallel tasks to accomplish in incarnation from level 3:
- to shape everyday life ethically and humanely
- to reappropriate in this incarnation the spiritual knowledge accumulated in many lives, even if it will always be only a part, to actively direct one’s spiritual life outwards from about midlife onwards without false missionary work and without the dangerous spiritual ambition and egoism
- to sharpen the consciousness in the later stage of life in order to gain impulses for the planetary mental from the existing brotherly cooperation on higher levels and to work with the living thoughts.
When fear is conquered and thoughts transcend space, the incarnation can be lived benevolently in confidence and with a loving smile. The struggle with the dark(s) takes place mainly on the lower subtle levels and every theosophist from level 2 and 3 has his part in it, in all rigour and consequence. Only there can the dark be pushed back in a lasting way. This struggle is currently much too weak on the part of the incarnated theosophists (esoterics, occultists, etc.), as representatives of the light.