Ray Tidbits

Some Key Aspects of the Psychology and Philosophy of Ray Types:

Classification and Synthesis of Ray

The distinction between one ray and another is not hard and fast. That is, the division is not precise or sharp, rather, the meaning of the rays overlaps. Rays, cycles, and centers all overlap. For instance, the second ray is the ray of “love.” But all rays can be looked at with a view to understanding how they relate to love. One must use synthesis to bring the pieces together and probe the underlying meaning of any concept, especially of one such as rays.

Below are examples of how one may understand love with respect to human expressions of all seven rays:

  • Ray 1, Will or Power: Love in action (the will initiates).
  • Ray 2, Love: There are many dimensions of “love” in the 2nd ray sense, but we may say that ray 2 love expresses in combination with all other rays. The probability of its higher or lower expression is rendered more likely by certain combinations. “Inclusiveness” is an example—we may have inclusiveness (“to shine on the just and unjust alike”) or, the same principle on a lower plane expressed as “over inclusiveness,” e.g. to throw together (with mental or emotionally motivation) things that do not suit each other.
  • Ray 3, Creative Intelligence: Love creatively expressed; love that intelligently adapts itself to the needs of another.
  • Ray 4, Harmony through Conflict: Compassion (Note the implication of the word which means to “suffer with.”)
  • Ray 5, Concrete Mind: Intelligent love. Loves despite a realistic understanding of the object of that love.
  • Ray 6, Devotion: Love as devotion (“Devotion is love looking upward.”) Or, in the lower expression, narrow love (My nation, family, or group, or religion on ( right or wrong) and apart from others families and groups.)
  • Ray 7, Order or Manifestation: Love measured in practical terms. Manifested love, objectively expressed. Courtesy is a reflection of this.

Notice that the key word of “ray;” a ray is a radiance, an energy—it is not a form. Rays create forms, but they are not forms, and in the last, analysis, cannot truly be understood in terms of forms. Nevertheless, they must be described in terms of forms. The form words suggest in connection with the rays are symbols, and in essence, illusions. Deep understanding—whether of one’s self or of some external thing—is, in essence, a process of transcending its form.

"Ray" Defined

“Ray [from Latin radius rod, staff, beam, ray] An indefinitely small thread of light or other form of radiant energy, whether undulatory or emissive, considered as propagated in a straight line and with a definite velocity. The figurative use of the word must not blind us to the fact that everything physical has its prototypes on planes above. As our sun sheds rays of a great number of kinds, and interchanges of radiation take place throughout our solar system and locally on each planet, so rays are emanated throughout the universe on all its visible and invisible planes, and represent the spiritual, intellectual, and fohatic and life-giving forces — mystically in each case a Mercury on his winged way bearing the messages of the gods.”

– Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary

The Seven Rays - Trait Words

Hints and indications about the seven energies or types can be discovered in the major religions and philosophies of the world, as well as in myths, legends, and fairy tales. In modern times, the most clear and complete teaching on the rays is found in the books of Alice A. Bailey.

Self Search is based largely, but not exclusively, on the writings of Alice A. Bailey. In various books, she describes personality as a synthesis of seven basic energies or types. These are named: 1. Will or Power, 2. Love-Wisdom, 3. Abstract Mind, 4. Harmony through Conflict, 5. Concrete Mind, 6. Devotion and Idealism, 7. Order and Ceremony. These seven principles are referred to as “Rays.” In human psychology, these rays are express as a pattern of personality traits. Bailey enumerates seven personality patterns. In brief and much oversimplified form, these trait patterns are:

  • Ray I. Will or Power–dynamic influence, initiative, action, purpose, dominance, masterfulness, governing power, authority, detachment, commanding, leadership, ambition, domineering, fierce, destruction of limitations (or unwise destruction), obstinacy.
  • Ray 2. Love-Wisdom–love of truth, magnetism, humanitarian spirit, inclusive love, unity, understanding, calmness, diplomacy, building, absorbing, intuitive foresight, fear, suspicion, over inclusiveness, unwise unification.
  • Ray 3. Abstract Mind–philosophical, theoretical, imagination, planning, cautious, dreamer, creative, adaptability, absentmindedness, complicated thinking, manipulation, busyness (or creative activity).
  • Ray 4.Harmony And Conflict–fighting spirit, challenge and triumph, humor, sense of color and beauty, intuition, generous, crisis, strife, war, pain, worry, pessimistic, exaggeration, procrastination, combative.
  • Ray 5. Concrete Mind Or Science–factual and detailed knowledge, research, accuracy, common sense, practical ideas, inquisitive, technical, discrimination, longwinded criticism, narrowness, intellectual pride, mental prejudice.
  • Ray 6. Devotion And Idealism–loyalty, faith, trust, reverence, aspiration, sacrifice, personal feeling, hero worship, emotionalism, jealousy, narrow love, fanaticism, emotional prejudice.
  • Ray 7. Order And Ceremonial–systematic, organized, courtesy, dignity, ceremoniousness, following of rules, polished style, attention to precedent, formalism, superficiality, superstition, emphasis upon external form and structure, practical manifestation.

Self Discovery and Resonance

Finding your true note

The rays are the substance of which our inner and outer life is woven. They are the color of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. herefore, they are a master key to the evolution of nature, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. By thought and meditation on the rays, we can gain some practical understanding of ourselves and also connect with the healing and illuminating aspect of nature. The rays provide a line of thinking that helps us use our energies in a more loving, creative, conscious, and wise way.

Unfolding mystery

In rayological terms, an individual is an unfolding mystery, a mystery of seven dimensions. Within each of us are hidden great potentials, and within each is also the resolution of difficulties. Psychologically, as a link to higher potentials, study and meditation on the rays is an aid to self-discovery and true self-expression.

For example, when real love is evoked, we are using the ray of love. Or when we ponder the meaning of the ray of harmony, this very process helps to evoke that energy. Such thought is an act of service, of great benefit to one’s self and to the others.

Learning to see

The study of the rays provides a means of discovering our limitations and also suggests effective techniques for transcending them. Knowledge of the seven rays is a means of learning to see more clearly those elements in our personal life that block or hinder soul consciousness and true self-expression. The blocks may be physical, emotional, or mental, but they are the normal and natural “prisons” which all of us are trapped in, to some degree. These prisons prevent the consciousness of love and obstruct the full expression of intelligence and will. Study of the seven rays helps toward a clear-eyed recognition of our weakness and is a step toward freedom.


“When I use the term “reciprocal vibration,” what do I mean? I mean the adaptation of the Personality or Lower Self, to the Ego, or Higher Self, the dominating of the Personality ray by the ray of the Ego and the combining of their tones. I mean the blending of the primary color of the Higher Self with the secondary hue of the Lower self until beauty is achieved. At first, there is dissonance and discord, a clashing of the colors, and a fight between the Higher and the Lower.”

Notable Individuals and Philosophies

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate additional ray types for the individual or philosophy. All assignments are probabilities, not certainties.

1. Will Or Power

Notables: Susan B. Anthony, Walt Whitman (4), Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Wagner(4), Alexander the great, Kamal Ataturk, Aristide Briand, Winston Churchill, Duke of Wellington, Mohammed (6), Akbar, Thomas Carlyle, La Rochefocauld, Robert Browning.
Philosophies: Individualism, Buddhism (2), Zen, Raja Yoga (5), Agni Yoga (6), Apriorism (2)

2. Love-Wisdom

Notables: Plato, Buddha, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1), Benedict Espinoza, Pythagoreans, Plotinus, John Muir, Hippocrates (5), Origen, Akhanaton, Fred Rogers (“Mister Rogers”)
Philosophies: Altruism, Optimism, Christianity (6), Monism (1), Emanationism, Gnosticism, Gestaltism (7), Animism (6)

3. Creative Intelligence

Notables: Albert Einstein (5), Aristotle (5), Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin (5), Camille Flammarion, Sherlock Holmes (fictional), Francis Bacon, Andrew Carnegie (7), Andrew Mellon, (7)
Notables: Philosophy, Cosmology (5), Metaphysics, Karma Yoga

4. Harmony Throught Conflict

Notables: Michelangelo (6), Theodore Roosevelt (1), Shakespeare (2), Leonardo da Vinci (5), George Frederick Watts (2), Robert Oppenheimer (3,1), Johannes S. Bach (6,7) Lao-Tse, Charles Dickens (6), Hercules (fictional)
Philosophies: Aesthetics (6), Mysticism (6,2), Vitalism (2), Hatha Yoga (7)

5. Concrete Mind

Notables: Roger Bacon (3), Thomas Edison (4), Archimedes, Blaise Pascal (2,6), Jules Verne (7), Guglielmo Marconi, Benjamin Franklin (7,3), Niels Bohr (3)
Philosophies: Scientific method (3,7), Empiricism, Logic, Modern philosophy, General Semantics

6. Devotion And Idealism

Notables: Jesus (2), M. K Gandhi (1,4), John F. Kennedy (1), H. D. Thoreau (3), Don Quixote (fictional), William Blake (4), Joan of Arc (1), Thomas A. Kempis (2), Alfred Tennyson, Martin Luther King (1)
Philosophies: Romanticism, Religion (2), Bahkti Yoga, Rosicrucianism (7)

7. Order And Manifestation

Notables: Marie Curie (5), Florence Nightingale (2), Henry Ford, Alfred the Great (1), Robert A. Millikan, Clara Barton, Horatio Kitchener (1), King Arthur, Count St. Germain
Philosophies: Cosmology, Pragmatism, Behaviorism, Experimentalism