GREAT SOULS: THE SEVEN RAYS AT THE SOUL LEVEL
“The marvelous aspect of this book is how the author delves into the heart (read soul) of every person discussed and places all of them in their cultural, social and mystical milieu with a few deft touches. This is soul history at its best. Kurt Abrahams series of books on the Seven Rays have not received the attention they deserve from esoteric students. To continue to ignore them is to have a black hole in your understanding of the universe and your place in it. Kurt Abraham is also doing yeoman service in this field by offering a correspondence course on the Seven Rays.”
~ Rusi Daruwala, editor Mandala, published in Mumbai, India.
“Mr. Abraham once again brings his considerable insight and understanding of the science of the seven rays to fruition in this interesting text. The sensitive analysis of the lives of each person, as gleaned from historical references and writings, shed considerable light on the manner by which the seven ray types work out in daily life. This book should be of interest to all Bailey students as well as to students of psychology.”
~ The Beacon
This book uses biographies of prominent people to illustrate the ray energies as they play out in a person’s life. The Soul Ray comes into play and becomes “visible” when a person is about her/his soul’s work. The soul places the group good higher than any thought of personal career. These people are what one might call people of destiny.
FIRST RAY SOUL: HERBERT KITCHENER—
A British general who served in Egypt, India, and finally France during the First World War. “In 1883 Kitchener became bimbashi (equivalent to a major) in the Egyptian Army. He was selected because of his language ability (he spoke fluent Turkish and Arabic—skills developed when stationed in Cyprus) and also because of his ‘cool head and hard constitution.’ The Egyptian Army, created by the British, consisted of Egyptian soldiers and British officers.
“Being in charge of a unit of soldiers, we see the stern, hard side of Kitchener developing—his reputation as being a taskmaster spread rapidly. He continued to have warm feelings for the people (the fellahin, the peasants), which he did not display in any obvious manner. The other British officers disliked him at first because he worked harder than they did.
“While on leave, he accepted an invitation from the Palestine Exploration Fund to participate in the work of surveying the Sinai Desert. In the meantime there was an uprising in the Sudan: A 35 year old middle-rank Egyptian official and ex-slave-trader proclaimed himself el-Mahdi (the Coming One). He and his followers slaughtered an expedition of the Egyptian Army. A message got through to Kitchener, recalling him from leave.
“Dressed like a native and with four Arabs, four camels, and a horse, he crossed the Sinai Desert in four days. They rode ten hours a day and covered 200 miles. Some of the natives say that the devil lives in the desert and makes the camels lose their way. Others say that the rhythm of the desert gait becomes a walk into eternity. During such a rhythmic ‘walk’, one comes to hold a conversation with the voice of silence. Kitchener became part of the desert experience—both physically and spiritually. He learned to see that communion with the ‘desert’ was something that lived deeply in the heart and soul of the Arab people.” (Great Souls 8-9)
SECOND RAY SOUL: ALICE BAILEY—
Spiritual teacher who began as a kind of evangelist and then worked with the Theosophical Society, which led to here her primary work with the Tibetan Adept DK and her own starting of the Arcane School. “The turning point in her life came when Alice was 35 years old. The 35-42 year sub-cycle, we recall, is the 3rd stage and 1st ray aspect of the larger 21 year cycle (21-42). ‘Much observation,’ wrote Alice, ‘had indicated to me that thirty-five is frequently a turning point in many lives. If a person is ever to find their life work, if they are ever in any particular life to attain a measure of surety and usefulness, it will be at that age.’
“Two English ladies of aristocratic background were hosting a Theosophical lecture in their home in Pacific Grove, California. Alice went to the meeting primarily to meet the English ladies. One thing, however, soon led to another. Alice became friends with the ladies, they gave her books to read, and Alice asked many questions. In order to do all the reading, Alice led a very disciplined life of getting up early, tending to the many needs of three daughters, working in the sardine factory, and reading while ironing, peeling potatoes, sewing, and mending. As she read, studied, and thought, her mind woke up in a new way. ‘I regard the hours of study that I expended over it [Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine] as some of the most valuable hours of my life, and the background and knowledge it gave me has made all the best of my work along occult lines possible.’
“Alice joined the Theosophical Lodge in Pacific Grove and began to teach and hold classes. Perhaps one of the most significant things she was learning was that ‘the esoteric presentation of truth in no way belittled Christ.’ Christ was the ‘Master of all Masters and the Teacher alike of both angels and of men. I found that the Masters of the Wisdom were His pupils and disciples, just as people like myself were pupils of some Master.’
“Alice moved to a location near the Theosophical Society headquarters at Krotona. Soon she was asked to run the cafeteria. She was admitted into the Esoteric Section of the Society, and it was in their Shrine Room that she, much to her surprise, saw a picture of the Master K.H.—that man whom she had seen when she was fifteen years old.”
THIRD RAY SOUL: A.P. GIANNINI —
Founder of the Bank Italia, which became the Bank of America, which changed the banking system to include everyone and not just people of means.
“The Columbia Savings and Loan was the first Italian bank in North Beach. It had been opened in 1893 by Agenzia Fugazi. Fugazi and the board of directors were very conservative; they lent large sums of money to prosperous residents. They were not interested in small accounts for the ordinary Italian. Fugazi and the board also lent money to business ventures, such as real estate development, in which they themselves had a financial interest. The ‘little guy’ was almost completely neglected by most bankers at that time. The small loan was considered a nuisance. Vast sums of money were being poured into the railroad, mining, public works, and also overseas investments.
“Giannini, as he gradually gained knowledge of the banking business, wanted to move in an entirely different direction. He wanted to provide more services to the thousands of Italian immigrants who were thrifty, hard working, and who wanted to get ahead in the world. Many of the new immigrants could not speak English. Many hid their money in their mattresses. Many, unable to get bank loans, paid high interest to loan sharks. Many were intimidated by the formal setting of the large bank buildings. Everything about the banks—the large marble columns, the brass railings, the cold formality—seemed to cater to the well-to-do and to shun the average, hard-working person. Giannini grew up in the midst of the struggling immigrant. As he himself rose on the social ladder, he never ceased to identify with the pulse of the people. He never distanced himself from their concerns and their hardships. Also, he was never intimidated by wealth, so he almost always was able to devise some plan to confront those who neglected the interests of the common man.
“At every board meeting of the Columbia Savings and Loan, Giannini brought up the same issues. Three of the board members came around to his view. Fugazi held firm. Disagreements turned into heated arguments. After five minutes into a board meeting, there would be an all-out shouting match. Giannini presented the ultimatum: Adopt his proposals or he would resign. Fugazi refused to budge. Giannini left the office and went down to see the banker with whom he had done business for many years when building the Scatena wholesale produce firm. He walked into his office and told him that he was going to start a bank and wanted to know how to do it. That was the summer of 1904. A.P. was 34 years old.” (Great Souls 61)
FOURTH RAY SOUL: LEONARDO DE VINCI—
Italian Renaissance figure whose fourth ray soul and fifth ray personality helped to bring about a creative genius of rare ability. “In this essay on Leonardo we have attempted to enter into the spirit of the Renaissance. We have done this not only to catch a glimmer of the backdrop of Leonardo’s life but also because there is a relationship between that time and our own. We are told that we are about to go through a profound spiritual renaissance that will recreate the civilization in which we live. It is always difficult to see the forest because of the trees. It is difficult to see the larger picture, due to the plethora of distracting details that surround the little personal life. It is important, however, to realize that we may very well be on the verge of profound and meaningful cultural changes, a period of dynamic new creativity. The beneficial new ways are always brought in through the leadership of great souls. It behooves us to be alert to the new dimensions and new directions—both within us and within the world around us, so that we too might experience something of the joy of renaissance.” (Great Souls 108)
FIFTH RAY SOUL: THOMAS EDISON—
Edison’s fifth ray soul, along with a third ray personality, brought a scientific genius into the area of business. All discoveries that his group of scientists made had to be related to something immediately useful. With each invention a new business was created. Edison’s 5-3 ray combination is contrasted with Michael Faraday’s 5-2 ray combination. Faraday was more interested in pure research and lecturing (educating, teaching) rather than going into business.
SIXTH RAY SOUL: ALFRED LORD TENNYSON—
“Whitman’s poems were full of action. He described what he did and what he observed. He pulled down from the clouds some arresting word phrases in order to startle the reader and charge the mind with new vistas. When seeing death, he did not brood about it; he confronted it. He extracted from the experience whatever could be extracted from it in an immediate and direct way, knowing that further mysteries would reveal themselves all in due time.
“Tennyson’s approach was far different. He took little action, and he brooded over matters a long time. He was self-absorbed in his own inner search for meaning. Whitman’s approach was fearless and “grasping” in the positive sense of demanding and taking whatever could be seized in the fullness of the immediate moment. The softer Tennyson explored nuance of feeling and explored life and death from a safe distance. The fearless Whitman was also freer to break convention; criticism did not affect him in the same way it did Tennyson.
“Both poets had some influence on each other. Tennyson was much admired on the other side of the Atlantic. Whitman wrote Tennyson, requesting a photograph and sending Tennyson a book of his poetry. Tennyson wrote back: ‘I had previously met with several of your works and read them with interest and had made up my mind that you had a large and lovable nature. I discovered great go in your writings and am not surprised at the hold they have taken on your fellow countrymen.’ (Letters, iii, 9.) No reference is made to any lack of finish or polish. Everything is phrased in a polite and positive manner. Tennyson, however, probably felt quite superior to Whitman as a poet, the latter lacking scholarship and being somewhat untamed. Tennyson could easily see how Whitman’s poetry had taken a hold on his fellow countrymen, for the whole country had a youthful, wilderness quality about it. Tennyson’s poetry had a profound respect for tradition; Whitman’s zest for living chose not be too encumbered by the time honored tradition. No seasoned poet could deny, however, that Whitman’s spirited enthusiasm brought something of value to the traditional art.” (Great Souls 163)
SEVENTH RAY: MARIE CURIE—
“There was a feeling of liberation. In Warsaw one had to be careful about speaking the outlawed language of Polish. In Paris one could speak any language one wished. The bookstores could carry any books in any language. She changed her name ‘Maria’ to the French spelling ‘Marie.’
“Maria enrolled in the Faculté de Sciences, University of Paris. There were 1,800 students enrolled and only 23 of them were woman. It was not that it was difficult for a woman to enroll, rather higher education at that time was generally not something that women pursued. It was interesting, however, that more than two thirds of the women were not French. These women were all truly pioneers in breaking through the limitations of the cultural norms. She arrived in the lecture halls early and sat in the front row. She devoted almost all of her time to study. She had tried to keep up on the latest science in Poland, but she was discovering some basic deficiencies in her education. It was also difficult for her to understand all the subtleties of the French language. She simply studied with more resolve and long into the night. Whereas most students sought one degree, she planned to obtain two masters degrees, one in mathematics and one in physics.” (Great Souls 191)
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