The Seven Rays of Divine Manifestation
Who am I? Strangely, this powerful question is one that seems difficult to fully answer. It is a question that is asked by each of us (consciously or unconsciously) every day of our lives. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that all aspects of life are arenas wherein we seek answers to this question. Though sometimes difficult to recognize, our personal relationships, the career path we follow and the beliefs we hold are all unconscious attempts at answering this perplexing question. When looked at from a spiritual perspective, it is the search for the soul that is our quest. But how do we recognize the soul within? And, is the nature of the soul the same for everyone? The tendency is to believe that every human soul expresses the same essential qualities. Such assumptions, however, are only partially true. Though all souls are inherently conditioned by love, beyond this commonality significant variation exists. The purpose of this article is to introduce the seven fundamental types of souls in the world today.
Before describing each soul type, it is important to briefly comment on the nature of light, for it provides an important analogy that will help in understanding soul variation. When white light is projected through a prism it divides itself into the seven colors of the visible spectrum. Each color is unique unto itself, and each affects us a bit differently. By analogy, when we examine world religions we also see that light is used as a symbol for divinity—the Light of God. And, just as white light divides itself into seven colors, so too does the Light of God express itself in seven qualities. In the ancient Esoteric Philosophy, these divisions of divine light are referred to as the Seven Rays, and every human soul is found upon one of them.
Description of the Seven Rays
We will now discuss the various characteristics of the Seven Rays. It is important to know that, though brief, each is a description of a soul type. In truth, the Seven Rays condition all levels of human existence, including the various aspects of one’s personality (lower-self). In fact, all of the rays condition each of us. Ray differences between people are related to the vehicle of consciousness that a ray is working through. For example, a particular ray may condition an individual’s emotional nature. Yet, for another person that same ray may instead condition the mental body of his/her personality. Nonetheless, for the purpose of introducing the Seven Rays, describing them from the perspective of the soul seems most fitting.
Ray 1 – The Ray of Divine Will and Purpose
The intention of this Ray is to reveal the Purpose of Divinity within the human kingdom. All life is evolving, and it is the objective of this Ray to supply the power and direction to this evolutionary movement. Therefore, the function of the First Ray Soul is to express the power of divine purpose through loving strength and one-pointed vision. Its role is to shatter those forms that no longer adequately express the Love of God. In the ancient records, this great ray was called The Lightning which Annihilates, for it liberates Divine Life from outworn modes of outer expression. And, by so doing, frees Life so that it may seek new forms through which to express itself more radiantly.
Ray 2 – The Ray of Love and Wisdom
The Second Ray conditions life with Divine Love. Its role is to reveal the unity that underlies all apparent diversity within creation. Love, as revealed through compassion and understanding, is how this ray is expressed for those whose souls are conditioned by it. It is the ray of inclusivity, and relates all things to each other by revealing the love that underlies outer events. One of the ancient names for this divine radiation is The Cosmic Magnet, for it attracts all unto itself. Although all the rays are crucial to humanity’s development, none are of greater importance than the Second Ray. For according to ancient record, it is this ray that governs the life of our entire solar system.
Ray 3 – The Ray of Intelligence and Activity
The Third Ray relates to the expression of Divine Intelligence. Essentially, it is this ray that provides the underlying intelligence in all of nature. With respect to the human kingdom, it is the force that animates human thought. Its purpose is to reveal the Mind of God within the consciousness of humanity, as well as to give spiritual understanding to all human activity. For those souls upon the Third Ray, their purpose is to reveal the Mind of God by demonstrating the interconnectedness of all ideas. In addition, this is the ray most associated with karma, for it holds the memory of what was, as well as what is to be. For this reason the primeval name used to identify this ray was The Keeper of the Recorders.
Ray 4 –The Ray of Harmony Through Conflict
The 4th Ray is the force that creates a sense of equilibrium and beauty in creation. Within the manifested universe, all existence is perceived dualistically. Indeed, all experiences can be seen in opposite ways. The function of this ray is to find balance and resolution to these warring dualities ever present within the human experience. People governed by the Fourth Ray tend to immediately see both sides of opposing perspectives and will persistently seek to harmonize them. The Beauty of Divinity is what is sought, for when harmony is achieved beauty emerges. Within all expressions of life there is a hidden seed of spiritual harmony, and it is this that the Fourth Ray soul yearns to find. For this reason, one of the ancient names for this ray is The Seed that is the Flower.
Ray 5 – The Ray of Concrete Knowledge and Science
The Fifth Ray is the ray that Clarifies Divinity through the pursuit of correct knowledge. Its role is to create within human consciousness the ability to discern Truth from fiction. Scientifically precise examination of reality gives clarity to what is observed in our world. The one whose soul is upon the Fifth Ray will often dedicate his/her life to finding solutions (truth) to the problems facing humanity. His/her spiritual purpose is to demonstrate that knowledge adds understanding to the nature of the Spirit underlying all that we witness in creation. In the archives this ray was called The Dispenser of Knowledge as a way of proclaiming its mission.
Ray 6 – The Ray of Idealism and Devotion
This is the ray that brings vision and spiritual aspiration to humanity. Indeed, its mandate is to bestow theVision of Divinity to those receptive to it. During the last several centuries, this radiation has shaped into human awareness a yearning for the spirit within. It has lifted our eyes to upwardly gaze, and to know that something much greater than life (as we know it) awaits those who aspire toward the light within. People whose souls reside upon the Sixth Ray tend to devote their lives to ideals that have the power to lift humanity into the realm of Spirit. To them, the path to enlightenment is in letting go of human desire, for desire is recognized as an anchor preventing one from upward ascent. In primeval language, this ray was often called The Negator of Desire.
Ray 7 – The Ray of Ceremonial Order and Magic
The Seventh Ray is best known for bringing order out of chaos. Its purpose is to provide the energy needed to translate spiritual ideas into tangible realities. Through its influence the Manifestation of Divinity is made possible. This ray influences humanity to outwardly create according to divine intention. An individual with a Seventh Ray Soul is the true magician. He or she is naturally able create positive change in the world. This is achieved through the power of the spoken or written word, and the ability to build outer forms that can anchor profound spiritual principles. Such a person understands the magical power of speech as an instrument for creating new forms through which divinity can be express. It is therefore not surprising that the ancient name for this ray is The Keeper of the Magical Word.
From one perspective there is truth in the notion that all souls are the same, for every human soul is a radiation coming from the one Light, which is the One Life itself (God). Yet, when considering the soul as it expresses through the personality, all souls are not identical. As I have briefly attempted to illustrate, there are seven types of souls, each conveying a unique divine quality and intention. Each has something spiritually essential to convey, and this as a function of service to humanity’s betterment. The journey to enlightenment is more than simply finding the soul deep within oneself. Discerning its nature and quality is also important. Through such realization, more of the soul can be effectively expressed in life. In truth, knowing the quality (ray) of the soul is to discover the unique spiritual mission we are each here to fulfill.
© 1998 William Meader
William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects ofSpiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.