The Dweller On The Threshold

For many lives, the disciple has been dwelling upon the threshold. He himself is the Dweller. Behind the slowly opening door he senses life, energy, spiritual embodiment, and the fact of the Angel. Between him and that door is a Burning Ground; this he faces, and this he knows he has to cross if he seeks to pass through the door. The question for him to answer is whether his will to achieve is strong enough for him to submit his personal lower self to the fires of the final purification.

The personal self is now very highly developed; it is a useful instrument which the soul can use; it is a highly trained agent for service; it is essentially a piece of adequate and useful equipment. It has, however, its points of weakness which are liable at any time to present points of crisis; it has likewise its points of strength which can be transmuted with relative ease into points of tension; on the whole, it is a dependable instrument and one which can render good service. Can it and should it be sacrificed so that (esoterically speaking) its life is lost and in its place consecration and devotion are substituted? This is a hard problem for all disciples to solve, to understand and to make effectively practical.

Only by crossing the Burning Ground three successive times are all impediments to the free use of the will destroyed. The relation between the Angel and the Dweller must be released, by means of the will, to full expression. I here refer to the spiritual will and to its three aspects which [269] must be brought into play before the divine will can begin to control. The disciple brings the two aspects of his nature together in full consciousness and with clear intention through a planned act of the will, and this act produces a point of tension in the “center of the Burning Ground wherein the two can meet,” as the ancient Archives put it. I would call your attention to the fact that it is at a “midway point” that the great submission of the lower to the higher takes place. It does not happen when the disciple hovers uncertainly upon the periphery of the Burning Ground or when he stands before the door with the Burning Ground experience behind him. The essential point of crisis, producing the needed point of tension, is the result of the “invocative decision” of the personality which, in time, produces an “evocative response” from the Angel. The two factors involved (and forget not, my brother, that all this takes place within the field of consciousness of the disciple) move together and towards each other. In the center of the Burning Ground they meet, and then the lesser light (a true light in its own right) of the personality is absorbed into the greater light of the Angel or soul. The Angel, therefore, “occultly obliterates” the Dweller who becomes lost to sight in the radiant aura of the Angel. This has been symbolically portrayed for us in the picture book of the heavens when, according to Catholic Festivals, the Assumption of the Virgin takes place and the constellation Virgo is lost to sight in the radiance of the sun. There you have the three factors:

1. The Virgin – material form – personality – Dweller.

2. The Sun – spiritual nature – soul – Angel.

3. The Earth – aspiring man – the disciple.

The personality remains; it still exists but it is seen no more as of old. The light of the Angel envelops it; the Burning Ground has done its work and the personality is now nothing [270] more or less than the purified shell or form through which the light, the radiance, the quality and the characteristics of the Angel can shine. It is a fusion of lights, with the stronger and the more powerful obliterating the lesser.

Alice Bailey

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