Self-mastery is a journey whereby you confront and transcend the spirits you have created, or that have been created in the collective consciousness through humankind's misuse of the 7 spiritual rays. The first thing to take attention is, the very nature of the Holy Spirit which is always flowing. It is an ever-flowing, ever self-transcending Spirit, that never remains the same for even a split second. The second thing to keep in mind is that you are overcoming separate spirits. This will for some mean that you will build a new self, a new spirit; and there is no way around this between the 48th and 96th level of consciousness, for this is indeed your charge: to experiment with your co-creative abilities, to experiment with the 7 rays, to build a self that has some mastery of the 7 rays.
WHAT IS HOLY SPIRIT / RIVER OF LIFE
The Holy Spirit is an energy or movement, that is created through the combined creative efforts of all beings who have raised their consciousness since the world of form was created. In other words, any time you express your creativity in a benevolent way (a way aimed at raising all lives), you tie in to the creative flow of the Holy Spirit, also called the River of Life. When the motives and intentions are pure, the Holy Spirit will magnify your creative efforts. You can also call to the Holy Spirit to help you see any elements in your being that are not pure, and you can invoke the all-transforming energies of the Holy Spirit in order to purify our 4 lower bodies of all imperfections. The Holy Spirit is so effective because it is formed by the creative efforts of all 7 rays, meaning it combines the positive qualities of all 7 rays in a perfectly balanced way.
PERFECTING A SPIRIT
False teacher on this Earth have come up with some clever schemes for those who are sincere spiritual seekers (especially for those who have gone above 48th level) to go into a blind alley, that will stop their growth and further into separation. This is the ultimate dream of the ego, of the fallen beings, and of the separate spirits. Separate spirit is mortal but it dreams of immortality. So it dreams of living up to some condition, whereby it becomes acceptable to God and therefore gains entry to heaven. No separate self can go into heaven, only the Conscious You (the pure awareness). This is what Jesus meant when he said "No man can ascend to heaven, save he who descended from heaven." The man refers to the separate self created by the ego mind. It also includes your soul, which is also part of the separate self.
A separate self can indeed grow and expand to, in a sense, perfect self, creating an ideal in our mind that if you keep applying certain teaching, you will at some point have reached a state of perfection, some ultimate state and reach enlightenment. But you will not ascend by building a perfect self. Perfection in heaven is not the same as what most human beings tend to see perfection as static. For if something is perfect, well, how can it possibly improve? If it is possible to improve it, then it could not be perfect! True perfection is flowing with the Spirit, which is not static. The only ultimate state is the self-awareness at the Creator level, but you will not reach that while you are in embodiment on Earth. You will not reach it until you have gone through the initiations of all of the 6 spheres that are above you. It is not something that you are to be concerned about right now. Even the Creator consciousness does not stand still, otherwise it will not create the world of form out of its own Being.
Therefore, perfection is constant self-transcendence. This is the true definition of perfection. This is why Holy Spirit is perfect as it has no goal of reaching some ultimate static state. It has a goal of continuing to transcend itself indefinitely. So it never seeks to hold on to the old, for it is always willing to shed the snake skin of the old and transcend into a new state.
There is a fundamental difference between walking the Path of the 7 Rays with the goal that you are creating some perfect self according to the static definition of perfection, than having the goal that you are creating a flexible self, that can constantly and easily flow with the Holy Spirit (The River of Life) in the ongoing self-transcendence beyond the 96th level of consciousness.
HOLDING ON TO THE SEPARATE SELF
When you are holding on to the separate self and not giving up the self you have created, this is what the Ascended Masters call the Death Consciousness. Those who come to the 96th level and they will not give up the self they have created, because they think that they will die if they give it up, having so identified with it. This is because they had it as their goal to create this static self, that lives up to some standard of perfection. They thought they can enter Heaven with that self they have created. Yet in order to enter the heaven (to be enlightened and ascend to the spiritual realm) it must be allowed to die, so that that they can transcend to the point of entering the heaven as pure awareness. This is why they become resentful. They want to hold on to the separate self and go out and exercise power through the separate self. They begin to dominate others by the power they have attained on the 7 rays. This is the pride that goes before the fall, and the fall is immediate, it is instant.
So ponder this carefully. It is necessary, as you walk the Path of 7 Rays (7 veils), to have a goal. But DO NOT allow the false teacher of Earth to trick you into defining a static goal, based on some standard that they have set up. A standard that they have designed and defined based on the consciousness of separation and the consciousness of duality, that compares everything through a value judgement. If you are striving to walk the Path of 7 Rays in order to become better than others based on some dualistic value judgement, you will only make it harder for yourself.
You may have a great drive to walk the path, willing to make many sacrifices in order to attain that sense of superiority. But when it comes time to give up that self that you have created, then you are faced with full force of the death consciousness. Because what do you face? You face the very fact that in the collective consciousness, there is this enormous conglomerate of separate spirits that are created, and they all do not want to die. So if you created a separate spirit as you walk the Path of 7 Rays, you will tie to this fear of death. You will have to overcome the entire momentum of death in order to give up this separate self. It is possible for you know you are pure awareness, you can give up any self, but it is very rare that students are able to do this while being tied to this collective consciousness.
Therefore, it is better to learn to give up the separate self at each level of the path, so that when you come up to the 96th level, you are not faced with the entire planetary momentum of death, but only the momentum at that particular level. It becomes a much smaller step, and you just effortlessly flow into it. And you keep flowing from the 96th to the 97th and beyond, until you are suddenly at the 144th level of consciousness. This is the last ghost, so that you can again effortlessly flow into the ascension spiral, into the ascended state.