The Sensitivity of the Disciple
By Glenys Lowery
It seems like it was only a few days ago that we were considering the mass consciousness of Cancer and now we are presented with self-consciousness of Leo.
The keynote for Leo 'I am That, and That am I' sums up the profound test that we all must face: the test of transcendence. 'I am' expresses the world of the self-conscious, selfish individual Leo. But this stage must be superseded by the words 'I am That', the world of the disciple who is rapidly gaining higher consciousness and preparing for a fresh and universal expression in Aquarius. This brings home to the struggling Leo personality what he is in reality: a divine son of God who is rapidly gaining higher consciousness and preparing for a fresh and universal expression in Aquarius.
Aquarius is, of course, the polar opposite of Leo, which makes our work with these energies all the more fortuitous, since Aquarius is the age into which we are rapidly moving. The spirit of Aquarius is exemplified in its universality and its sense of 'general distribution'. This universal quality presents points of crisis for Leo types because it presents an opportunity to transcend the selfish focus and to merge with the universal quality of Aquarius, but at the same time, bringing with them that uniquely developed sense of self-assurance of Leo. Then we have disciples who are able to stand in the light without wavering and who can serve the Plan in the face of all obstacles. On this point, it is interesting to note that two outstanding disciples, Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey had strong Leo energies in their natal charts (Helena, Sun and Alice, Ascendant) and indeed, the Master Djwhal Khul noted that it will not be unusual to find Aquarian disciples with strong Leo energies in their charts.
A study of the sign of Leo and the influence of Leo provides insight into the very core of human life and the purpose for our existence on earth. Leo takes us into the very heart of the self and self-consciousness. Sensitivity to the self is the goal of the Leo experience. And if, as the Tibetan reminds us, 'the purpose of this solar system is the unfoldment of consciousness', then the energies of Leo have a unique function in this gigantic process. All the signs of the zodiac are working towards this objective – as conditioning influences on human consciousness. All add their particular quality to the mix. But the outstanding theme of Leo is the development of the self-conscious unit in relation to its environment, or in other words, the development of the sensitivity of the self to its surrounding environment. This is why the Leo subject stands at the centre of his or her little universe. It is said that the whole story and function of Leo and its influences can be summed up in the word "sensitivity."
- sensitivity to the multiple impacts from the environment, from the people around us and to their needs; sensitivity to the community and to the nation and even to the world.
- sensitivity to the will, wishes and desires of the personality, the lower self.
- sensitivity to the soul, the inner spiritual self, and the conditioning qualities which it provides.
- and finally, a sensitivity to the soul-infused, integrated person and to that even higher source which lies in the monadic realm.
As we know, developing sensitivity to all these different stages of the soul is a long, slow and often painful process, requiring many lifetimes to achieve. It is the underlying task of the soul no matter what the outer personality may be doing in the world. Ever finer degrees of sensitivity are gained by experience as one reacts outwardly and inwardly to the world. Eventually, as our sensitivity becomes more acute and we gain more freedom from the control of the environment, we become liberated from its effects. We are no longer conditioned by the environment, but in a reversal of the process we begin to condition it in relation to the working out of the divine plan of God. We begin to take an active role in the service of God, as a conscious agent of the redemptive process.
Sensitivity manifests in stages and by degree and each stage is indicative of how much or how little the soul is conditioning the personality life. In the early stages, before the soul takes control, the reaction of the person is entirely to his or her little will, wishes and desires. The range of sensitivity is limited to the personal self and is controlled very much by the environment. This covers a long period of many lives and is usually quite a painful period. But the personality has little understanding of why life has dealt such a painful hand. Pain, however, at this point, can have beneficial effects. It is this very pain that invokes a cry for help and for relief from a seemingly endless life of suffering. Relief usually does come eventually in some form, but perhaps more important for that individual is that through that invocative cry comes the first extension in his range of sensitivity. An outward ranging sensitivity brings about a decentralisation of the self. This opens the way for the influence of the soul to exert its conditioning energy of love; love which conveys understanding and therefore a diminishing of pain. This, in turn, sets the stage for sensitivity to the soul as a conditioning factor instead of being conditioned by the environment. The environment now begins to extend vertically as well as horizontally. This marks a very significant turning point.
This is a stage of sensitivity where we find a growing number of people in the world today. Significant numbers are expressing a need for higher, spiritual values, indicating the conditioning influence of the soul. We are at a point where, in a very real sense, the soul is exerting a sense of responsibility and taking command of the environment. And we are rapidly reaching that stage of sensitivity in which the liberated person is not always conditioned by his environment but begins the arduous task of conditioning it in relation to the divine plan and purpose of God. The environmental movement and the persistent emphasis on ecology are obvious examples of this soul response.
The Tibetan makes an interesting comment about self-consciousness as the objective of Leo. He points out that "many people are convinced that they are self-conscious when they are only swayed by desire and are oriented towards the satisfaction of that desire or when they recognise themselves as the dramatic centre of their universe. Yet', he goes on to say, 'the only true self-conscious person is the man or woman who is aware of purpose, of a self-directed life and of a developed and definite life plan and programme. Where these are present, the influence is that there is mental perception and some measure of integration. To be motivated only by emotion and actuated by desire is no indication of true self-consciousness…In the truly developed self-conscious person, not only is direction, purpose and plan present, but also a consciousness of the active agent of the plan and action." In other words, to be truly self-conscious there must be an awareness present of the inner spiritual self which is providing a definite plan and direction to one’s life. And if that direction is true, it should be expressing some beneficial effect on society and not simply glorifying the little self.
Leo stands in a unique relationship to the sun at the heart of our solar system. The planetary and systemic alignment established at this Festival is a heart/soul alignment. The heart of humanity, the heart of the planet - the spiritual Hierarchy - and the heart of the sun create the channel which extends to Sirius, that great "star of initiation" within the universe. Sirius has a unique relationship with our planet Earth and through Sirius the pure energy of love flows through the solar centre and into the planetary heart.
This alignment is evocative of the cosmic principle of Love and Freedom, both of which flow through Sirius and Leo into our range of awareness. These two principles are making an increasing impact on human consciousness, affecting all areas of life. As we seek to work with these energies and to cooperate with the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet, the result should be the increasing manifestation in humanity of the principle of Love and the freeing of human life from the bondage of materialism and all that tends to imprison the human spirit.
In the future, the Tibetan predicted, there will be a major festival at the time of the Leo full moon that will be dedicated to the task of making contact with Sirian force via the spiritual Hierarchy. This, he said, is part of the new approach to spiritual reality. He also said that the influences of Sirius are focused in Regulus, which is a star of the first magnitude and called "the heart of the Lion". This lion hearted energy is evocative of the strength and love that is so characteristic of the Leo disciple. It also brings to mind the power of love – not a soft sentimental quality or a desire or selfish motive but an impersonal potency or energy, which when wielded properly and in accordance with Divine Will, is the force which leads to integration, unity and inclusiveness. It is the radiant energy of the Christ, the Lion of Judah. This love is expressed in the ancient "Affirmation of Peace" a prayer that beautifully captures the Leo experience:
At the centre of all love I stand;
From that centre, I the soul will outward move;
From that centre, I the one who serves will work.
May the love of the divine Self be shed abroad
In my heart, through my group and throughout the world.
During this full moon, let us be sensitive to the higher impression of our souls as we seek to cooperate with the Spiritual Hierarchy to embody the love of God in both ourselves and our wider group which is humanity. Let us enter the heart of the Lion and call down His fiery love into ourselves and the world in loving service, in full recognition that we are all "That"- divine children of God.