The Mudrashram® Institute of Spiritual Studies
The Seven Rays and the Ego
© 2004 by George A. Boyd
In contemplating the arrays of the Seven Rays through the different vehicles of consciousness, we can describe the particular constellation of the seven rays as anchored through the ego at the nucleus of the Conscious mind. This array is shown below.
The dominant ray in the ego governs perception of the world and the individual's approach to interpersonal and career relationships. The first ray emphasizes goal directed activity; the second ray, understanding; the third ray, rule and standard governed behavior; the fourth ray, aesthetics and creativity; the fifth ray, knowledge and reason; the sixth ray, affiliation and bonding; and the seventh ray, the awareness of physiological and behavioral response to stimuli, feelings, and thoughts.
First ray egos may gravitate towards positions of power and leadership, in business, government, and the military, where they may perceive they are in control at all times.
Second ray egos seek out professions like counseling, teaching or coaching, where they can interact with others in a way they consider meaningful and beneficial.
Third ray egos may become managers, accountants, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, judges, and administrators, where they can interpret and implement rules, policies, and laws.
Fourth ray egos may be drawn to professions in art, cosmetology, fashion, and entertainment, where they can express their creativity.
Fifth ray egos prefer detail-oriented work, or a career that involves solving a mystery or gathering data. They may become scientists, researchers, technicians, detectives, engineers, and builders.
Sixth ray egos seek out gregarious professions where they may affiliate with others, such as customer service, public relations, and sales. They may also go into the helping professions such as nursing, medicine, or the ministry where they may love and care for others.
Seventh ray egos gain insight into the working of the body-mind. They may use their insights to become psychotherapists or psychologists. They may be also drawn to holistic healing, hypnotherapist, or bodywork professions. They may also use their insights to optimize their performance in sports, dancing, or martial arts. They may use they sensitivity to interpersonal behavior to personify others as actors.
The Larger Perspective of the Seven Rays
We can understand the Egoic Ray of an individual of the larger perspective of the Seven Rays as they enter the Transpersonal and Personal zones of human functioning as shown in the tables below.
Reflecting on this tabular material, we can see that an individual's Soul Ray, Personality Ray, Subconscious Ancestral Ray, and Egoic Ray can appear on any one of the Seven Rays. The Soul Ray and Personality Ray remain stable life after life until the Fifth Planetary Initiation is taken. The Ancestral Ray and Egoic Ray, however, may be seen to change from lifetime to lifetime, as the Soul takes incarnation in different lands and different bodies.
In the Metaconscious mind, the First Ray appears as the Will in all individuals. One of the three mental faculties over the cycle of incarnations becomes dominant, as does one of the three emotional faculties, and one of the two physical etheric rays. Like the Ancestral and Egoic Rays, the Rays of the Mental, Emotional, and Physical-Etheric bands of the Metaconscious mind are malleable. Both the individual's spiritual evolution and influences from the Hierarchy of Light condition changes in these Rays operating in the vehicles of the Metaconscious mind. While an individual may be seen to maintain the same Mental Ray for several lifetimes, you may detect a definite shift at some point, and then that alternate Ray may be held for several lifetimes more.
The Physical-Etheric Ray is of special interest, and we will discuss it briefly here. The individuals attuned to the Third Ray at the Physical-Etheric level are governed by their cultural or religious values, and maintain a collective identification with their group. When they undergo Initiation, it occurs at an unconscious level so that they are not aware of the inner changes. These individuals may be seen to follow the ways of the culture in which they are born and do not question the culture, beliefs or practices of the ambient society in which they are born.
Those attuned to the Seventh Ray are guided by the Soul and identify themselves with it. These latter are individuated, consciously take Initiation, and actively reflect upon and dialog with their Soul. These individuals may be seen to be highly individualistic, following their intuition and inner urges. They question cultural and religious assumptions, may be involved in political or social reform, or may develop a personal cosmology constructed from personal reflection and meditation (as opposed to the unquestioning acceptance of religious authority and dogma and cultural mores seen in Third Ray individuals). More Seventh Ray attuned individuals have come into incarnation after World War Two, giving rise to the challenge to many of our long-standing traditions and values by our youth from the late 1950s onward.
The Rays and Our Readings
In our Basic Soul Reading, we underscore the constellations of the Seven Rays of zones I through V to promote insight into the personality (the Metaconscious mind) and the essential being or ensouling entity (the Superconscious mind). Greater awareness of the Metaconscious mind facilitates Centering and Self-knowledge. Insight into the Superconscious mind promotes Self-transcendence, enlightenment and Gnosis. Centering and Self-transcendence are twin aims of our meditation teaching, so each participant in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation receives a Basic Soul Reading as part of this course.
The Egoic Ray and Practical Meditation
The Egoic Ray, in contrast, influences perception and behavior in daily life and waking experience. This band of our experience utilizes meditation in the waking state, or what we term Practical Meditation. Practical meditation is characterized by
The development of patience
Attention to the beauty of the environment, of human beings, animals, plants, and minerals
Thoughtfulness and consideration for others
Self-restraint of passion and impulsiveness
Calming your reactions of fear, anger, and worry
Clear thinking and reasoning without being swayed by emotional arguments
Bringing poise, playfulness, grace, and relaxation into movement
Creating an environment around you where you can live with serenity and beauty
Cultivation of mindfulness of your moment-to-moment experience
Developing personal rituals that bring meaning and value, and an atmosphere of serenity into daily life
Committing yourself to goals that bring meaning and purpose to your life
Adopting lifestyle and dietary practices that promote health and vitality
Dangers of Strong Identification with the Racial or Ancestral Ray
We hold that strong identification with your Racial or Ancestral Ray of the Subconscious mind can be a hindrance in developing optimal relations with others who come from different ancestral backgrounds. Focus on racial identity tends to divide people instead of bringing them together. Moreover, propagation of distorted beliefs coupled with unconscious projections about the characteristics of other ethnic and ancestral groups has bred bigotry, prejudice, and hatred throughout human history. False ideas of alleged superiority of one racial or ethnic group over another have led to racist assumptions and justification of cruelty, discrimination, slavery, and inhumane treatment of members of the other ethnic or racial group. Untold suffering and unnumbered wars have sprung from this collective madness.
If you have not done so already, we ask you to make a commitment to stop contributing to this collective madness. Whatever your primary Racial or Ancestral Ray, we strongly advocate that you disidentify yourself from this perception and simply consider that you are a member of the human race, a person or a human being. Though we have apparent racial or ethnic differences, at the core we share a common humanity.
In Theosophy, this Racial or Ancestral Ray of the Subconscious mind is referred to as a Root Race. With intermarriage of peoples, we see a blending of these Rays. These Seven Racial or Ancestral Rays appear as follows:
Determining Your Egoic Ray
As part of your journey of self-understanding, you may wish to identify your Egoic Ray. This will tell you something about your dominant mode of expression in your daily life.
There are three easy ways you can use to determine your Egoic Ray. Use whatever one you find most comfortable.
Scanning - Imagine that the Seven Rays spread out like light from a prism behind you. As you scan from right to left, you will find the Ray paths align from first to seventh Ray. Feel for your ego on one of these Ray tracks.
Characteristics Analysis - Read the descriptions of the seven Egoic rays in this article. Decide which of those best describes you.
Polling - Invite your friends or loved ones to read the descriptions. Ask them their opinion as to what characterizes you.
Understand your Egoic Ray and discover its role in influencing your perception of the world. It will help you better know yourself.