SO WHAT ARE THE SEVEN
The concept of the Rays originated in the ancient Vedic literature
of India, and were associated with the Seven Rishis, advanced beings
who acted as agents of the Absolute. The Seven Rays were introduced
to the west by Madam Blavatsky, and included in her book The Secret
Madam Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in the late 19th century,
and this influential society, which is still in existence, was born
of the spiritualist movement. Blavatsky was a medium, and although branded
by many as a charlatan, she created a brilliant amalgamation of myth
and magic, which attempted to give occultism a scientific rationale.
The early days of this society produced a lot of work by occult writers
that laid the foundation for most of the new-age concepts we are now
familiar with, such as chakras, the astral plane, and the Hierarchy.
She said she was aided in her work by the Masters, benevolent human
beings of an advanced type, with magical powers such as telepathy and
Amongst her variety of teachings on the ancient wisdom was the concept
of the Seven Rays, the divine energy responsible for the evolution of
all life. Everything we know about the Seven Rays is based on the work
of Madam Blavatsky.
The story does not end here though. One follower of Blavatsky, a member
of the Theosophical Society, and another devotee of the Masters and
divine guidance, was Alice A. Bailey. She lived in the first half of
this century, and wrote many books based around the concepts introduced
by Blavatsky, including a 5-volume work on the Seven Rays, written in
collaboration with a Master.
Her ideas on the Rays differ slightly to those propounded by Blavatsky,
but they agree in principle. Almost everything we know about the Rays
today is based on the Alice Bailey books, because she gives specific
detailed accounts of how they function. However there are numerous discrepancies
within both of their works, and much that is completely obscure.
The essence of the teaching behind the Seven Rays is that each of us
develops along one of seven different evolutionary paths. This makes
the transmission of objective knowledge concerning the Rays very difficult,
because each interpretation will be tailored to suit the Ray type of
We believe there are seven distinct paths of spiritual evolution, and
so it is important that people working on each Ray should have access
to this information. This applies especially to those who find it hard
to struggle through “The Secret Doctrine” and “Treatise on the Seven
Rays”, which are long obscure books, tinged with 'conspiratorial' views
and archaic political opinions because they were very much books of
Today, the Rays can be seen as a way of appreciating the healthy difference
between cultures and ideologies, and how the accent should be on the
role of each individual to find their own spiritual path: we do not
need to convert people to our beliefs, but help them to discover
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