The full moon or solar Festival of February, honoring the constellation of Aquarius, centers on the theme of world service, inclusiveness and compassion. In this meditation we seek to emphasize the qualities of universality, group consciousness, brotherhood, service, and intuition. The group of all those drawn to these themes make up the subjective group with whom we unite in meditation, whether they meditate formally or not. The form of meditation we use is the "newer type of meditation, with its emphasis upon visualization and the use of the creative imagination [eliminating] the attention paid hitherto to personal problems….The keynote of group fusion and of service underlies the newer form of meditation." For us, the meditation is what is contributed of "pure thought, the Thinker, and the thoughtforms created by these two." The meditators are all those who come to the state of meditation by an aspiration to serve the world, either because they are capable of 'pure thought' or because they have recognized 'the Thinker.' Yesterday's thoughtforms make up today's worldview and many are no longer adequate to the need of the times. Re-forming and re-thinking what is true about the nature of the world and our relationship to it is the task of world meditators who join together monthly at the full moon. (Alice Bailey, Rays and the Initiations, pp. 262, 590)
What is truth and what is fantasy? The Yoga Sutras teach that the states of mind are five: correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, fantasy or dream state, sleep and memory. Each can be experienced as painful or not painful. Correct knowledge is determined by correct perception, correct interpretation and accurate evidence. How much of what we believe today is based upon incorrect perception, incorrect interpretation and inaccurate evidence? Incorrect knowledge is based upon perception of the form and not the state of being, or mistaking the form of a thing, for the thing itself, making science vulnerable to incorrect perception. 'Certain truths we hold to be self-evident,' and these are based upon value judgments, not provable by current scientific method. They are self-proven for a reason: they force us to look within ourselves for the greater truth. There we can find the Thinker, the Seer, the Knower or gnosis: the state of being within the form. Our ability to accurately perceive both subjectively and objectively is the work in progress. Trying to penetrate beyond the known is meditation and is done by groups using both methods, who together make up the group of meditators.
Whether we start from the point of view of existence or essence the path leading from one to the other is a process, and visualization and imagination are major tools upon the way. Carl Jung created a middle path between the two with the concept of the achetypes, linking back to Plato's Idea as supraordinate and pre-existent to all phenomena. These are the images of being within the form, such as the image of father and mother, visualized by parents to try to intuit good parenting. Archetypes and the archetypal images of a time are projected onto the big screen by film makers whose art communicates. The images of The Fifth Element and the imagination of Steven Spielberg live in ET and Encounters of the Third Kind because they reflect a greater reality than the one our time period lives in. They are the precursors of a breakthrough into a greater reality, a more inclusive reality that we know exists, but the nature of which is yet unknown.
Consider the world of the infant and the world of the sun; imagine the first evolving into the second. Rumi said it well in his poem, "The Universe":
What if someone said to an embryo in the womb,
" Outside of your world of black nothing is a miraculously ordered universe; a vast Earth covered with tasty food; mountains, ocean and plains, fragrant orchards and fields full of crops; a luminous sky beyond your reach, with a sun, moonbeams, and uncountable stars, and there are winds from south, north and west, and gardens replete with sweet flowers like a banquet at a wedding feast.
The wonders of this world are beyond description. What are you doing living in a dark prison, drinking blood through that narrow tube?" But the womb-world is all the embryo knows and it would not be particularly impressed by such amazing tales, saying dismissively: "You're crazy. That is all a deluded fantasy."
One day you will look back and laugh at yourself. You'll say, "I can't believe I was so asleep! How did I ever forget the truth? How ridiculous to believe that sadness and sickness are anything other than bad dreams."
In this larger unknown world outside the womb of mother nature on earth, is a whole new environment, a whole new large world awaiting our exploration. NASA sees it now and so does the U.N., declaring the themes of this year to be the International Heliophysical Year, the International Polar Year and the Year of the Dolphin-all outside of the human family for a change, widening our view and expanding our horizons, relationships and perspectives. This, too, is spiritual work. The spiritual work of the UN is in its focus and direction: toward recognition of the wider, whole environment from helio to nano. Spiritual work is also visualizing what we think the Christ meant by the words, 'the kingdom of God,' and what the Tibetan meant by the 'hierarchies of kingdoms from mineral to spiritual' and beyond.
H.P. Blavatsky and Alice Bailey both sought to stimulate our imaginations, in the same way that all religions have, by visualizing the invisible, and describing the unseen. The Dhyana Buddhas or Dhyana Chohans are said to be the same as the Elohim and the Lords of the Seven Rays who inhabit the Seven Sacred planets, or, the Spirits before the Throne. Rainbow bridges are said to connect the Sacred planets one to another and to their pupils, the non-sacred planets like Earth and Mars, both under the tutelage of Saturn, the great teacher. Jupiter and Saturn are called the "gas giants" by scientists, because if they were put on an ocean, they would float, they are so light. They are our shepherds, the ones who protect us from asteroids, like parents protect their small children, the inner planets. Jupiter is said to have especial influence in this meditation of Aquarius. In the history of the solar system, it narrowly missed being the partner of our sun, which would have made us a binary system, like most of the stars are. In Bailey it brings the beneficent energy of 2nd ray love-wisdom, one of the primary energies of brotherhood and world service, reaching out to a greater, far more universal environment. This Festival of Aquarius also brings in the energy of Uranus, the 7th ray of organization, and Mercury, the 4th ray of harmony through conflict, which together with the 2nd ray, lead us from conflict to brotherhood.
Visualizing these extra-planetary energies as Higher Intelligences using the planets, including our own, as bodies of manifestation is part of what our imaginations are asked to provide. Uranus, the 7th Ray Lord, is synonymous with Cronus and stands for the Hierophant in the Tarot, according the Blavatsky. In Bailey, the school of Uranus is called the School of Magic and the graduates are said to wield the power of violet-colored cosmic etheric prana. In the scientific world Uranus and Neptune are the two 'ice giants.'
Mercury, the 4th ray planet is "Budh, Wisdom, Enlightenment or reawakening in the divine science," "the Lord of Wisdom," and 'the God Hermes, inventor of Magic.' Buddhi and Mercury are both 'radiant golden-colored,' according to Blavatsky. In the Kabbalah Mercury is the 12th path and called the 'Intelligence of Numinosity because it images Magnificence and is the source of visions.' In Greek mythology Mercury is Hermes, son of Zeus/Jupiter, messenger of the gods and guide of the souls of the dead to the banks of river Styx and the kingdom of the afterworld, among his many functions.
Jupiter is referred to in The Secret Doctrine as the one 'through which the prayers of mortals reach the Gods,' the 'throne of Brahma,' and 'the symbol and prototype of ritualistic worship.' In Bailey Jupiter is called the School of Beneficent Magicians and also the Palace of Opulence because its graduates work with the law of supply and are frequently referred to as 'the sowers.' In the Kabbalah, Ponce equates Jupiter with the 21st path and calls it the Intelligence of Mediation because it 'receives the divine benediction from above and disperses it below, thus influencing all in existence.' In Greek mythology Jupiter is Zeus, supreme god of the 12 gods on Mt Olympus and whose will was law. His second wife was Titan, personification of the law, whose children were The Fates, the 'goddesses of human destiny.' Another of his wives was Demeter, mother of Persephone and the symbol of Virgo.
With Memory he fathered the Muses.
According to the Tibetan, the Seven Lives, whose nature is consciousness and whose expression is sentiency and specific quality, cyclically produce the manifested world. They work together in the closest union and harmony and cooperate intelligently with the Plan of which they are custodians. They are the seven builders, who produce the radiant temple of the Lord, under the guidance of the Mind of the Great Architect of the Universe. The life of all the seven flows through every planet, including Earth and thus qualifies every form. On each planet is a replica of the general scheme, and every planet conforms to the intent and purpose of the whole (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, 1 pp. 141-2). They are ever in deep meditation and are the sum total of the universal mind and sweep around the confines of the solar system just as the life impulses of a human manifest as organs enabling him to carry out his intent, to live his life and to fulfill the objective for which he created his body of manifestation (pp. 61, 62).
Brotherhood with the stars, the planets, the hierarchies of kingdoms from mineral to human to spiritual and divine, is the subject and focus of our meditation. The universe is in us, as well as we are in the universe. Imagining the brotherhood of man is such a deeply held ideal that John Lennon's song "Imagine" is sung every New Year's Eve by New Yorkers and countless others as a fitting prayer for the year to come. It is the stated first objective of Blavatsky's Theosophical Society and it is our objective in the meditation of Aquarius as well: to imagine and meditate on the truth of universal inclusiveness, the whole environment, and "the brotherhood of man."