The Second Degree or Air Initiation deals with the challenge of bringing the mental nature under control.
The essential purpose of this degree is to learn to purify the lower mind (intellect) and allow the light of the higher mind to be our source of understanding.
When thought is pure it allows a greater measure of light to flow to us, so we need to purify the mind and its destructive, separative tendencies.
The lower mind has its own sense of identity (the ego) and does not accept the direction or guidance of the higher mind (soul). It relates only to the material world and is composed of racial memories and instincts.
It feels extremely threatened by the emerging soul and wants to dominate it. At this stage a “Battle Royal” commences between the two minds. This is centered in the solar plexus chakra, the seat of the lower will. You can direct golden yellow light to calm this region when it becomes agitated.
The mind attacks you by unleashing a barrage of negative thoughts from the subconscious self and directing them towards yourself and other people.
The mind also creates doubts and fears about treading the spiritual path. You may also have glimpses of your destiny at this stage, but the mind blocks it at every turn.
So there is a need to discipline the lower mind by identifying negative thoughts arising from the subconscious and dissolving them using white magic techniques, such as the following:
Direct a ray of pure White Light towards the negative thought pattern for 5 minutes.
If you really don’t like the person you feel negatively towards then also direct a ray of rose pink, unconditional love from your heart centre towards the person or thought.
Ask the “Lords of Form”, who turn mental energy into thought forms, to dissolve the negative pattern. “Lords of Form, I do not wish to have this negative thought, please dissolve it!”
Replace the destructive thought with a constructive one.
Mindfulness practices enable you to simply witness all that is in the mind like you would watch a leaf floating in a river.
You can also do simple awareness exercises like “Watching the Breath” to condition the mind to silence and to train yourself to detach from its constant tendency to externalize through the senses and identify with mental activity. The mind has to be redirected inwards to its source in the Self.
Once you have clearly observed a particular thought pattern at work it can never again have the same strength it had while it was unconscious. Merely to see the ego at its games helps to weaken its hold on your life.
Another technique is to do a review of the day’s thought activities to see where you have become too negative or caught up in issues.
In fact, any technique which develops the discerning, witnessing attitude is helpful.
When we access the higher mind there is a sense of joy and light and the visions, insights and communications that we receive can guide us further along our spiritual path, using our discernment as we go.
Progress with this degree is seen when thoughts don’t overwhelm you with negativity and doubt and you are able to act on the spiritual insights you receive about your purpose and destiny.
Having an intellectual interest in spirituality seems quite satisfying to the ego and mind, as long as you don’t have to sacrifice anything or serve the divine Will. The ego definitely wants to maintain its control and following your soul’s guidance is not part of its agenda.
So the challenge during the Air Initiation is to learn to detach from thoughts and allow the heart-based inspirations from the soul to flow into our awareness. Taking it a step further, the silent Presence is all knowing, so surrendering to It brings the best possible outcome in situations. You realize that thoughts just get in the way in most situations.
So we need to develop a finely balanced approach that allows us to listen to the intuition voice and not to get carried away by the illusions that are the main trap on the mental level. If we find ourselves too caught up in our intellect, it can be a signal that the lower mind is in control and some heart-based activity is needed to bring in some balance.
It helps to remember during these episodes that Presence is our true identity, because the ego and mind will have us believe otherwise.
Only a growing relationship with the Self can truly reveal what is Real.