What are the characteristics of the soul?
The consciousness of the universe appears to be formed of at least seven rays of light. We see this when light is refracted forming a rainbow. For each of us the true self - the soul - is a unique blend of these seven rays. Each ray is endowed with specific characteristics which influence our every choice in life. If we can identify these influences and also how they get distorted as their energy flows through the personality, then we will understand much better why we make the choices we do, why they don’t always work out and how best to follow the destined path of the true self....

Distortions impacting true impulses
At Openhand we observe the struggle within each person to overcome personality distortions causing us to make choices which are not at one with the true indwelling self. Whether we like it or not we all have distortions. These are attachments to material phenomena or experiences, the attachment to relationships, to looking good, feeling good, being successful, being loved etc etc.

They arise from the influences of our parents, friends and society which can never match the absolute unconditional love we experienced in the womb. So for example, if a young child does not receive adequate loving attention from both its parents, there is a tendency to react to this either by retreating inwards or by being attention seeking. The growing child feels internally that somehow it is failing, it is inadequate and incomplete. This leads to conditioned behaviours and a program forms - the inner child - which if not dealt with, can impact the rest of our lives.

Each distortion conceals a hidden gift
Each of these distortions emanates from a hidden gift. So in the example above, perhaps the child was very wilful and had a strong heartfelt impulse to experience the love of the absolute in a powerful way. This would be because that soul has a strong first ray influence (ray 1 represents the will of the absolute).

If we can identify our distortions in this way, then with deep contemplation, we will also be able to unveil the gifts contained within them. How does this benefit us?

In every moment of life, we are invited to make choices. If we examine the patterns the choices fall into, we will notice each one invites us to express either our distortions or our gifts. The distortions cause us to express our separation from unity consciousness and on the other hand, our gifts cause us to reunite both ourselves and others with the absolute.

Since flowing from the absolute is our divine destiny, we achieve much greater internal harmony and sense of completeness if we express our gifts rather than distortions. If we apply ourselves to this dynamic with commitment, perseverance and core splitting honesty, then over time, the distortions - our conditioned behaviours - dissolve and the soul is liberated within us to express the absolute completeness it is. In other words we become enlightened.

So what are the characteristics of the seven rays and what are their likely distortions?

  • Ray One: The divine driving force of Will
    This is the driving force to create experiences exemplifying the inherent love of the absolute. It is the manifestation of the divine masculine principle throughout the universe - the warrior energy. From the place of separation, it is that undeniable inner resolve to find a higher level of unity and oneness both within ourselves and with others. It causes us to challenge and break apart the status quo which may be holding us in a lower level of understanding and clarity. It is the initiating force that opens new pathways in life (leading back to the absolute) and many of the world’s leaders have strong ray 1 attributes. The distortions of this influence are associated with the perceived need to control outcomes and other people rather than trusting in the right action of the universe. Consequently we observe the frequent abuse of that power. The Great Bear constellation is associated with Ray 1.
  • Ray Two: Unconditional love for all life
    This is the powerful influence of self sacrificing unconditional love for all life. It represents the divine feminine principle throughout the universe - the harmonising impetus seeking to find the good within all creations and situations. Ray 2 holds the infinite wisdom and knowledge of life. It is frequently observed within life’s healers. Mother Mary, Quan Yin, Jesus and the Buddha all had strong Ray 2 influences.
    The key distortions arise from the excessive need for the relationship and the tendency to dilute our inherent love giving away our energy to all creations thereby lacking the discernment to provide love in the right way - that which will have most positive benefit. (It is said that Ray 2 people know what to do but don’t know how to do it whilst Ray 1 people don’t know what to do but know how to do things. It seems the best form of leadership would combine both influences!). It is associated with the star Sirius.
  • Ray Three: Interpreting abstract wisdom
    People with strong Ray 3 influences are the translators of life able to harness abstract wisdom into a form that can be understood by many.
    Philosophers, astrologers, and communicators have strong ray 3 influences. This consciousness helps us dig deep into the true nature of the universe and frequently the truth we discover is difficult to mould into concrete form. Consequently people influenced by this ray may find themselves intellectually isolated if struggling to translate what they’ve realised. True understanding of ‘formless form’ is the main gift of Ray 3. This is the ability to hold complex, formless and abstract wisdom without the need to pigeonhole into limiting restriction. At the same time, adepts discover how to apply their wisdom in the exact form necessary at the right moment for maximum upliftment of others. Distortions of this influence centre around the attachment to form - in other words, we may become internally needy to find correct expression. The Third Ray is associated with the Pleiades constellation.
  • Ray Four: Achieving harmony through conflict
    In order to find the higher harmony of love and truth, we must frequently break apart the status quo of a ‘lesser’ understanding. Sometimes the inertia of these lower levels can be so predominant that conflict is the only way to bring into consciousness the more sophisticated beingness. Ray 4 teaches us to push back the boundaries of our inner comfort zones in the quest for ever deeper unfolding. The skill lies in knowing how far to push without tipping the balance too far. Ray 4 adepts are able to dance deftly down the blade edge of life without cutting themselves. Assimilation of ray 4 consciousness activates the inner artist. However the ability to see the greater harmony in all circumstances can be a double edged sword - artists can be quickly enveloped in melodrama and mood swings. In essence then the distortions lie in over attachment to the right expression of the truth.
  • Ray Five: Attaining concrete, scientific understanding
    Ray 5 consciousness provides the vehicle by which we bring metaphysical truth into concrete reality. It is the abode of systematic processing hence its emergence within the sciences. Someone who is influenced strongly by Ray 5 tends to be deeply questioning of all experience, a trait which helps us to burst the bubble of illusionary realities and belief systems. The gift here then is being able to see the wood amongst the trees. Like always each gift is subject to distortion and as this quest for core splitting reality passes through the personality, metaphysical experiences with no immediate scientific explanation can easily get ‘logicked out’ by Ray 5 over influence. Since we shape and distort reality with our minds, then etheric subtle truths are easily discounted - like trying to paint a masterpiece by numbers.
  • Ray Six: Idealistic devotion to truth
    Ray 6 inspires commitment and devotion to a cause. It is that idealistic force which helps us stay focussed on our perceived goals in life. We are presently experiencing the remaining effects of the earth’s 2000 year sojourn governed by Ray 6 influence - the age of Pisces. Hence during that time we have seen the rise of humanity’s wide array of religions. In some ways these have been of great benefit, helping man look beyond basic selfish needs and desires. However, we have also witnessed the corrupting influence where devotion to a cause overrides commitment to one’s personal truth. Herein then exemplifies both the gift and distortion. Our spiritual unfolding is a long journey of many twists and turns as we uncover deeply hidden truths within our psyche. It takes perseverance, commitment and focus to stay centred on the path. Ray 6 is the divine gift that helps us here. We have also witnessed a great cost how this gift is distorted into dogmatism and even radicalism as each religion fights vehemently to promote its own version of truth - the same reflection is frequently mirrored through each of us when we are seemingly unable to accept any other truth but our own.
  • Ray Seven: Harnessing the power of synchronistic magic
    At the turn of the millennium, the earth passed into the age of Aquarius with governing influence being the seventh ray of consciousness. This is a liberating energy which invites us to find our own personal truth in every situation and then to positively uplift the environment energetically by our thoughts, words and deeds. The combination of a spiritual approach to all events grounded in scientific reality generates a powerfully transmutational effect. Ray 7 invites us to explore our passions. It helps expose truly heartfelt impulses which are at one with the universe from the distortion of selfish perceived desires and needs. Synchronicity is the key word of Ray 7 influence. Through spontaneous acts of seemingly pure magic we are invited to read the delicate intricacy of the patterning behind all events and to harmonise with it. In so doing we harness and magnify the light of higher consciousness infusing into the surrounding energy field. It could be something as simple as a smile to the person at the check out desk, uplifting their day and thereby positively influencing each person they serve that day. The gift of ray 7 is trust in self to bring about authentic acts of pure magic. When distorted through the personality, this can lead to ungroundedness with people seeking the peak experiences of life and failing to see the divine through ALL experience. We see both the gifts and the distortions wonderfully characatured in today’s ‘new age’ movements.

Conclusion
If we can stay in the place of the observer of ourselves through each moment in life, then we will taste the influence of all 7 rays and their corresponding distortions. Ultimately by means of profound honesty, we unveil our unique harmonic - the jewel within the lotus - which constitutes our true selves. In shining these qualities through all events, we burn away the dross of conditioned behaviours lighting a fire of transformation both for ourselves and others. This is the inimitable, inviolable taste of fulfilment we have been unknowingly seeking all our lives.