Mountain and Valley
By Joann Bakula
The 10th meditation of the spiritual year, the 10th gate of Capricorn, is the mountain top experience, the transfiguration of the personality by the soul, exemplified by the Christ at the Transfiguration, and by the light supernal, when all 7 rays blend into one. This is the epiphany, peak or mountain top experience.
This gate can also be approached in the opposite way, in the shadow of the valley, as well as the mountain top, as illustrated in the myth of Hercules. In the labors of Hercules, an epic journey is made in the opposite direction of the light, down into the darkness of Hades where Prometheus was bound. Herakles' test was to restore freedom to Prometheus, the giver of the gift of fire, who has been suffering for long ages because of the gift of conscious life that he gave to humanity. The sacrifice of Prometheus continues until the spark of divinity takes hold in a human hero, a God-man, whose animal nature has been transformed into its god-like divinity. He is a precursor of Christ, whose voice is heard by the disciple/initiate at the 10th gate. Here Hercules goes down to a hell world, meets the three-headed dog [within] guarding the gate and delivers the deliverer. "Onto Prometheus, O Hercules, you are asked to be a savior…Downward, ever downward, did he travel….the atmosphere grew stifling, the darkness steadily more intense. And yet his will was firm….At length he came to that dark…river called the Styx [and to] Charon, the ferryman, that he might take them to the other side…he threaded his way until he came to the court of the king who rules the underworld, Hades" [Pluto], conquered the three-headed dog and freed Prometheus, returning then to the land of light. There his Teacher met him saying, "The light now shines within the world of dark" (The Labours of Hercules, pp. 170-171). This is a superhuman sign, a universal and impersonal sign, a labor of an initiate. By walking through these different states of being or bardos, Hercules, too, becomes the gate. "Death is the veil which those who live call life," Shelley writes in Prometheus Unbound. The journey of the initiate is through all six bardos or states of consciousness from birth to death, there and back again.
Hercules, part animal, part God, like each of us, has bridged the gap between natures achieved conscious realization of his own divinity, and returned the investment to the great gift-giver Prometheus, fulfilling the promise of destiny by reaching across this abyss spanning this divide with his own body, soul and spirit. This is the bridge or rope built consciously out of mental substance. Joined, whether our method is the 1st ray preservation of values, of principles; 2nd ray of the attainment of positivity; 3rd ray of reaching the path from here to there; or 4th ray when conflict steps into its rightful place, we build together, centered in the world of ideas. No small sectarian mind is this, no lesser fragment of the whole. Here, in this 10th meditation, all those who have put their time in and have been tested as true regardless of pressures can give back to the divinity, who descended down into animal nature, by becoming a living synthesis, a vertical bridge or ladder linking peoples and worlds. Epiphanies can be had at the mountain top as well as the pit of pain, the transfiguration experience or descent into the world of hurt, both extremes of light and dark are open to salvation. God is not miserly.
Many paths lead to the Father's House. Sometimes both experiences are seen together, such as in the life of Martin Luther King, born in the sign of Capricorn. His famous "I've been to the mountain top" speech was closely followed by his assassination. He was 'the sacred goat' and 'the scapegoat', as Christ was, and gave his life for his and all people to further human and equal rights.
The solstices are characterized by inequality, the depth of contrast between light and dark, the opposite of the equinoxes. Shamballa manifests through equality, symbolized by Libra, called the way into Shamballa, where all is seen as one life, and life as equal. The gift of Prometheus is the opposite. It makes us different in the eyes of Hierarchy and in the life of the Ashram. The cross made by the solstices of unequal light and dark, in Gemini and Capricorn, and the equinoxes of equal light and dark in Aries and Libra make a cross in the spiritual calendar of the year. The Tibetan writes "spiritual men, aspirants, disciples of various degrees, initiates and adepts--the mystery of Capricorn is hidden in these five" (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 706). This is esoteric or transpersonal developmental psychology, the study of stages in the life-span of consciousness. It is the ecology of a group of serving disciples, it is the ecology of living synthesis that fits a serving group for still higher impression. The balance of equality opens the way to Shamballa where the whole life expression itself, held by the three Buddhas of Activity, where One Life is the sole concern. This is why exclusivity and regimentation are not the way for the new group of world servers, which is a representative group, a primary qualification for a microcosm of the whole. "The focal point and agent of the Avatar of Synthesis is the new group of world servers."
As we join together, each from our own ability and to each according to need, we form a serving group holding sacred our task to become the conscious bridge between spiritual worlds and the world of nature, bestowing the blessing of a compassionate life.
Blessings to you in your life of compassion.