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The fifth initiation: door to mastership 
by Rev. Howard Ray Carey


How in the world can we hope to comprehend the meaning and significance of this great event of the fifth initiation which lies so far ahead of us? Indeed, we need to realize that full comprehension escapes us at our present level of consciousness.

However, through the teachings vouchsafed to us by the Master DK, Alice Bailey and others, we can begin to glimpse at least some of what this culminating experience of the fifth initiation holds for our future ---- and the future of humanity.

As we continue to climb the steep path up life's mountain we must give attention to the immediate steps ahead of us, and to what is required of us at our present stage of aspiration or discipleship. But also, for our encouragement, we need to get some view, however limited, of that which awaits us at the mountain top of human experience.

Our study of this great initiation seems somewhat complicated by the fact that the Tibetan labels it 'Revelation' rather than 'Resurrection'. But He acknowledges that ''this particular Initiation has been called the Resurrection by the Christian world, expressing our rising out of the ocean of matter into the clear light of day.'' Furthermore, Alice Bailey, in her book From Bethlehem to Calvary, deals with the fifth initiation as the Resurrection experience. And certainly the experiences and teachings which came through Jesus, after He rose from the tomb of death into what Christians think of as the light and joy of Easter, form the very centerpiece of the Christian message.

Today, after nearly 2,000 years, the festival of the Resurrection ---- Easter ---- is celebrated by greater multitudes of church-goers than Pentecost, Good Friday, or even Christmas. So, though it may be incorrect from an esoteric point of view, it is small wonder that the majority of us who have been nurtured in the Christian tradition think of this as Resurrection rather than Revelation.

However, the Ageless Wisdom teaching, as I understand it, tells us that Jesus did not experience the fifth initiation when He was in Palestine, but rather that He had another incarnation shortly afterwards as Apollonius of Tyana, and achieved Mastership during that life. Furthermore, we are told that the Lord Christ, who had overshadowed Jesus during the three years of His ministry and worked through him so effectively, also assisted in the raising of Jesus' body.

So highly spiritualized was that body that Jesus could suddenly appear to His disciples in the middle of a closed room ---- and disappear as easily, even though the transformed physical body was there in such seeming reality that He could show them the nailprints in His hands and feet and the spear thrust in His side. Apparently the Christ considered it necessary to give His assistance in these things, so that for the 40 days after Jesus' emergence from the tomb the final teachings that were required could be given and the previously distraught disciples be assured of victory over death and darkness.

We need to recognize that the benefits of all the post-Resurrection appearances and teachings were not limited to that day and time. For, as previously touched upon, whether you call this event the Resurrection or something else, the report of all these happenings helps vast numbers of people today to realize that death is not the end; that life is not only without end but ever progresses to higher levels of consciousness, fulfillment and significance; and that we all share in the heritage of this higher life and will one great day experience those wondrous changes which will make us mature members of the Kingdom of God.

At that high point we will fully realize ---- what now we ponder intellectually ---- that we are indeed being led from darkness to light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. For when we reach Mastership all darkness, all that is unreal, and all that we call death will be left behind. We will be completely free of all the illusions of the three worlds of the lower self, hard as it may be for us to comprehend now what that victory will be like.

However, if as Masters we so decide, we will be able, like the great avatar Sai Baba, to choose to be born again as a baby and go through all stages of physical life including what is called death. But if that should be our choice it would be so because we found that path to be the best mode of service for us, and we would be doing it as a completely conscious and free being.

Another choice which will be open to us as Masters will be to serve on the inner planes without occupying a physical body but having the ability to create a temporary body, called a 'mayavirupa'. In that body we could appear physically anywhere on any mission, and cause that body to disappear when the mission is accomplished. In any case we will then, as Masters of Wisdom, be serving permanently from the buddhic or love-wisdom plane ---- the next plane higher than the higher mind, and the source of true intuition.

Among other realizations, as Masters we will understand: first, the significance of the three worlds ---- the physical-etheric, the astral or emotional, and the mental; second, the significance and synthesizing qualities of the great love-wisdom ray; third, the mystery of the human Soul.

In From Bethlehem to Calvary, Alice Bailey summarizes the culmination of our long and arduous preparation for Mastership in this way: ''We are resurrected to life eternal and become of the company of the immortals when we have fitted ourselves to be co-workers with Christ in the kingdom. It is when we lose the consciousness of the separative individual and become aware of the whole of which we are a part that we have learnt life's final lesson and need no more return.'' (p. 442)

So let us take with dedication, patience and perseverance the steps just ahead of us on the path. While doing so let us not lose sight of the glory which awaits us and all our sisters and brothers when we finally reach that mountain top. In His Messages the Christ gives us glimpses of what the Masters are like and what our experience will be like at that high level. In Message No. 136 He says: ''My Masters know naught but Love and Joy. Likewise, My friends, this will be your heritage. Make haste to claim your rights, and know the Love and Joy of God.'' And let us heed His challenge given in Message No. 115: ''Come with Me, My friends, and blaze a path of Light to the future... Take My hand, My friends, and let us walk blithely together into the radiant future.''

How can we resist that call? Let us give heart and mind and Soul and strength in our response to Him as He leads us toward that liberation.


This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright Share International Foundation.  Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated. 


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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005