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Summit Lighthouse: Divine Self
My spiritual path is one of direct personal experience but that doesn't mean that research and study aren't important to me. In fact, I rely on research to fill in the blanks between dreams and visions and synchronistic events and expand upon my own experience of spirit.

Blind research and study alleys, however, are far from unheard of.

Recently spiritual experience has led to two courses of study I have never seriously looked at before. The first is Gnostic Christianity. The second is the Ascended Masters teachings and the related spiritual practice of the Seven Rays.  

While I found both Gnosticism AND the Ascended Masters / Seven Rays material resonant, I couldn't help wondering which was a blind alley and which was not.

Feeling that I was at a crossroads, I asked myself, which is the right path for me?

Today as I walked the treadmill at Planet Fitness and listened to my Great Courses lecture, Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas, Professor David Brakke said something that addressed that very question.
The Valentinian [Gnostic] teacher tells us that this world is not our true home and our bodies are not our true selves. The real part of us is our spiritual selves, which are present in the material world only temporarily. Further, our spiritual selves are like rays from the sun, which is Jesus. Resurrection is the process of the rays being “retracted” back to their origin... Obviously, the return of the rays to the sun, or the return of our spirits to the Fullness [spiritual dimension], is an ongoing process, happening right now. Christians need not wait for some future resurrection of the dead at the end of time. They can have resurrection now— if they receive gnosis, recognize their true spiritual nature, and contemplate higher reality.     
The association that 4th century Gnostic teacher made between the resurrection and the process of individual ascension was remarkable for the day. What really jumped out at me, however, was the mention of the Rays.

Learning that the Rays were mentioned there made me wonder if they were mentioned in other ancient writings. As it turns out, they were.

Here, then, is short history of the Seven Rays.
  • In India, the Vishnu Purana (a post-vedic scripture thought to have originated as early 1000 BC) describes how Vishnu "enters into the seven solar rays which dilate into seven suns."
  • The Seven Rays were known as the "seven rays of fire" in ancient Greece (circa 4th century BC). These rays of fire were associated with the goddesses and gods (including Aphrodite, Pan, Zeus and Dionysus).   
  • In the second century A.D., the Chaldean Oracles and the Mithraic liturgy paired the Seven Rays with the sun god Helios. (According to somewhat later writers, the purpose of the Mithraic Mysteries was to help the seeker shed the garment of this world and ascend.)
  • Gnostic amulets of the third and fourth century (made of colored gemstones and often used as talismans for healing) were engraved with a lion-headed serpent or great snake, from which emanated either twelve or seven rays. Gnostic gems with Abraxas also featured the Seven Rays.
  • In fourth century Rome, Emperor Julian Saturnalia composed a hymn to the Mother of the Gods that sang of the "unspeakable mysteries hidden from the crowd...concerning the god of the seven rays."  
  • In early Christian iconography, the dove of the Holy Ghost is often shown with an emanation of seven rays, as is the image of the Madonna, often in combination with a dove or doves. 
  • A 6th Century Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai mosaic, shows the Transfiguration of Christ with "seven rays of light shining from the luminous body of Christ..."  
  • The depiction of the Seven Rays in association with doves, the holy spirit, Jesus and the Blessed Mother can be found in art by Jan van Eyck and others throughout the middle ages.
  • Beginning in the 1800s, the concept of the Seven Rays was expanded upon and personalized by Theosophists Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, C.W. Leadbeater and Alice Bailey. Each ray was associated with a specific Ascended Master. According to Bailey every individual is said to possess an fixed soul ray (remaining constant through all their incarnations), and a personality ray that is different for each incarnation.  
  • 20th and 21st century New Age teachers, such as Elizabeth Clare Prophet (who focused on the same Ascended Masters as Blavatsky) and others, taught that the Seven Rays could be used for energy work and healing. Each ray was paired with a specific chakra. Methods of working with the associated energies are explained in Prophet's many books.  
And this is where I find myself today.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet's book on the Seven Energy Centers is on my desk. The ancient Gnostics talk to me when I'm on the treadmill. I'm attending a Seven Sacred Flames class later this month. New books arrive weekly.  

And there is not a single blind alley in sight.


*If you're local to NE Pennsylvania and would like info on the Seven Sacred Flames Class mentioned above, please see the following FaceBook Event or call Inner Peace at (570) 208-1511.

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