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LET it be said at once that the writer does not claim to possess any knowledge of Occult Initiation. What he does know, however, is that life itself is the great Initiator, and that all of us who have set out upon the Path are daily being tested and tried and prepared for higher service. Actually, life consists solely of a series of experiences, and it depends entirely upon how we deal with these experiences as to whether we make any progress along the Path or not.

It is the writer’s experience that it is not necessary to practise anything of an occult nature. Some people think that they must wait for some great psychic or spiritual experiences, during which they shall leave their body and go through a Mystic Initiation in which they are tested in various ways. This may be necessary for some, but the writer knows by experience that life itself furnishes a series of tests and experiences which provide all the initiation that some of us apparently need.

“Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.’’ It is one thing to leave all and follow the Gleam, and quite another thing to prove ourselves worthy of our high calling. Those who set out upon the great spiritual adventure must prove their worth. No one can be admitted to the inner circle, or higher mysteries of the Spiritual Life, and vested with power, until he has overcome himself and certain weaknesses of the flesh.

“For many are called, but few are chosen.’’ Many who set out on the Path do not get very far—they fail at the tests. They find themselves vested with a certain amount of power, or they believe that they possess a certain amount of power, and then comes the temptation to misuse it. At this test many fail.

This, however, is not the first test by any means. Upon the first starting out upon the new life there is great joy and uplift. Everything goes smoothly and the neophyte is apt to think that there is nothing easier than living the life of the Spirit. But, before long, the first test is met with. Everything appears to go wrong. Spiritual uplift goes and all the old passions, temptations and desires of the flesh return with added power. Every inducement is made to persuade the neophyte to return to the old life of the senses. This test is quite sufficient for a great many. They go back to the old life, and, by so doing, prove themselves to be unworthy of higher responsibility. The higher mysteries are certainly not to be revealed to those who fail at the first hurdle.

The first test safely passed through, the sun again comes out and life is once more a joy. But old habits and passions still keep cropping up, and it is only by continually turning to the Spirit and drawing upon His inexhaustible powers that they can be overcome.

Apart from all these experiences connected with the overcoming of the lower nature, and the old desires, it is found, sooner or later, that subtle tests are, from time to time, being brought to bear upon one. If they are not dealt with in the right way; if we refuse to learn their lesson; or if we shirk the experience that they bring, because it entails trusting ourselves more completely than ever before to the Spirit and pushing out into much deeper waters; then the tests are applied again and again until their lessons are learnt and the weak point in our character built up and strengthened. When we have learnt our lesson, without a shadow of doubt, the tests are removed, and not before. When they are no longer necessary these particular tests are removed forever, and we are advanced another step in the new life, greater power and responsibilities being then given us.

After a time of rest and preparation, we are next subjected to a series of tests more strenuous, searching and subtle than previous ones. This is necessary, because, as we advance, the tests have to be of a different character and quality. The tests applied to an archangel must of necessity be of a very different character from those applied to a human being. In every case the tests are perfectly adapted to the individual soul. No one is tested or tempted beyond his powers. We can always overcome if we are faithful to the Light, refusing either to give way, or to turn our backs to the Light.

We proceed by a series of steps, each step being preceded by a testing time. All this takes place as we pursue our ordinary everyday duties.


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