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Allegories of the Evolutionary Way of Light

By Joann Bakula
January 2007


The overall keynote of all twelve of the meditations using the full moon approach is phrased in metaphoric terms: "He who faces the light and stands within its radiance is blinded to the issues of the world of men; he passes on the Lighted Way to the Centre of Absorption. But he who feels the urge to pass that way, yet loves his brother on the darkened path turns the other way. He faces towards the dark, and then the seven points of light within himself transmit the outward streaming light, and…those upon the darkened way receive that light. For them the way is not so dark." Spiritual light shines through disciples despite whatever conditions that may prevail during any time or place. The radiant light of subtle worlds activates the responsive etheric body's seven major centers or charkas, stimulating them into greater activity and energetic functioning. Each chakra has an outer appearance, an inner quality and a center point of life, or life, quality and appearance, just like the human form and every atom. Human response to the spiritual light and life determines sequentially which aspect of a chakra will be stimulated. For the initiate the awakening and subsequent use of the energy of the chakra's center is what makes them seem to light up a whole area figuratively and sometimes literally. The halo of saints in Western art is a portrayal of this subtly visible phenomenon.

This general keynote which gives us our orientation toward world service, has reemphasis in the seed thought of Capricorn, "Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back." Having found the greater light in which we all live, the light buried under many sheaths of matter, the disciple sees truly with direct perception something of the overall evolutionary plan of love and light for each kingdom and can, therefore, turn toward the world of men and nature with a vision more comprehensive than the calculating mind ever could. It goes beyond the duality of actor and acted upon, of subject and object, to a synthesis of life and living, in nature and spirit as one. It is toward this that the movement advocating Earth Stewardship takes us. This is the direction so many today long to see the leaders take, and whose longing is the silent prayer of humanity itself. The Tibetan predicts that "the creation of a direct channel for the precipitation of 'light supernal' into the three worlds and dominant focusing upon the physical plane" will result in a new civilization and a new world order, or "the new heavens and the new earth."

Light is love. If light is the outer form, than love is the quality of it, and life itself is the central mystery, the thread that becomes the lifeline. And this is reflected in the Gospel story of the birth, when God, the great, becomes small, the infant Jesus, to evoke our love and care, to help us in our imitation of the Father. Love and care of the small is the dominant quality of all mammals. Other directions of love are to the great, as God or Immortal Light, or outward as love of nature and earth stewardship. From nest building and raising the young, which we share with so many species, we have the cognitive ability to see wholes from a larger perspective. We can see the nest as planet earth and the family as humanity itself. We increasingly have true group consciousness, as the consciousness of the soul itself, able to see from a perspective of the whole and the parts that make up the whole. When the Plan is intuitively sensed from the mountain top view of the spiritual triad then "there comes the realisation of the unity of all beings, of the synthesis of world evolution and of the unity of the divine objective. All life and all forms are seen then in their true perspective, a right sense of values and of time then eventuates."

Group consciousness can easily, however, be misinterpreted as meaning social groups, ethnocentric or socio-economic groups, for instance, especially if they are world-conscious social groups. This is actually the opposite of what Alice Bailey and the Tibetan meant when they used the term. It is the soul itself which is referred to as having group consciousness. An awakening to the soul's perspective of universality is like passing through a very narrow passageway into a great assembly hall. The narrowing down to single file is the fulcrum of individuation, without which discernment between the group consciousness of the soul and the group consciousness of the social realm is not easily seen. The two are often confused. We know from research that choice and decision making most often follow these lines of social identification. Few are willing, in the end, to sacrifice personal identifications, if they are at the heart of who they think they are.

In the words of mythologist and popular 20th c. author Joseph Campbell, "The world is one, but everyone's pulling back into his own group: black power, chosen people, the workers, capitalists, everyone fighting for his own small walled city. Well, the walls are down…The key is the individual, not the social group anymore. All social groups are bounding groups now, and all social movements are in-group movements, walled-city movements. It's only the individual who can move from one group to another, and find the human spirit within himself, for whom we have any hope. I see nothing coming out of any of the social movements except in-group stuff-economics and politics." ( The Way of Myth, Fraser Boa's conversation with Joseph Campbell, pp.175-176). To this he added religions, each flying its own symbol like a flag over its own walled city. To Campbell, we are living in a transition period due to last for some time, in which the old symbols will become more and more separative, until finally a new symbol and myth will emerge to signify the psychological transformation into a global society. And the only place from which a living symbol can emerge, is the psyche itself.

In the meantime the individual must still go on and the disciples of today seize the opportunity to create in the alchemical vessel of their own lives, the components of the new mythology, always wrought in individual lives before emergence into the larger whole. Integral spirituality and developmental ethics are evidence of this. To Campbell this is and will continue to be a period in world history of great strife, a view shared by Alice Bailey and the Tibetan for whom she wrote. A mythological personification of strife is in the Nigerian trickster god Edsu, whose job it is to spread strife and deception, turning one tribe against another, and causing widespread dissention. Finally people come to the realization that behind the mask of tribalism is a higher god, and that out of strife comes striving for harmony through unity. Out of terrible conflict comes the strengthening of the will-to-love and the will-to-live. Salvation comes from seeing behind the layered forms to the energy driving the god, the act or the time. The Ionian philosopher Heraclitus, of Pythagorus' time, found strife to be one of the three predominant factors affecting us. Perhaps it was an early insight into the quality of the 4th ray of harmony through conflict as the dominant energy of humanity, used as our habitual method of approach. Out of the terrible ashes of WW II, the U.N. was born, still the only world forum dedicated to eliminating war and committed to dialogue.

Using our zodiacal myth as the great allegory of the evolutionary way, Capricorn guards the secret of the soul, "the secret of hidden glory, revealed to the disciple at the climax of the third initiation, the transfiguration on the mountain top of the personality by the soul. This growth in consciousness becomes the way of initiation, the way to the mountain top, towards the supernal light which reveals the soul as the real Self, the Plan as the responsibility of discipleship and the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet as the center of love into which initiation admits the accepted disciple." Capricorn, the tenth gate, is therefore the outstanding sign of psychological initiation and transformation of the personality. This "initiates the man into the kingdom wherein the will aspect (not the soul aspect) of divinity expresses itself." The life span is summarized as "Aries, the Initiator, Leo, the Self, and Capricorn, the transfiguring Agent-such are some of the implications in relation to the first ray and humanity." It must be remembered that self-consciousness does not give way to true group consciousness until the third initiation, when the will-to-good demonstrates in group aspect. The process leading to this stage of spiritual psychology requires both the dissipation of glamour or seeing through the veil of distortion, and use of the 5th ray of science, an energy difficult for many in the new age movement to relate to.

Our natural and normal cycle is composed of light and dark, day and might, winter/summer and waking/sleeping. Light in the darkness is a theme of seasonal opportunity, shared in the Western hemisphere and the Western culture all over the globe. The Romans celebrated the winter solstice on Dec 25, using the Julian calendar, as the Saturnalia, when the nobility served their servants in an annual role reversal to reestablish an equilibrium of the pairs of opposites, hope for an equinox of balance. And, perhaps, for a social order based upon equality. There is evidence of this in the ancient democracy of Athens, the cultural progenitor of Rome. Some philosophers spoke for the people and for equal rights for women, and others argued against the rule of the rabble "with repulsive habits, dressed in skins and hides'. The Ionian philosopher Heraclitus, for instance, wrote of the never-ending strife between opposites and the principle of balance which keeps one side from securing too great or long lasting dominance. This had social relevance in warning against excessive power being allowed to get in the hands of any one class for too long.

In the myth of Hercules, described by Alice Bailey as "this allegory of the labours of all disciples on their evolutionary way" (LOH 215), this meditation is on the heroic deed of freeing the immortal Prometheus, who gave the gift of fire to humanity in ages long past, and whom the gods have kept tied ever since. Hercules must pass through the gate into Hades and slay the three-headed dog guarding the entrance. Hercules, the individual disciple, must free the Immortal gift-giver Prometheus, until humanity itself can perform the labor. Isn't this myth related to agni yoga, our new yoga named of the inner fire and our method of union or enlightenment through identification with the whole? The immortal giver of fire, symbol of the soul, is trapped "in a dark place" and "on the outer planes." Hercules as the awakened personality must free the fire of Mind, the spiritual triad, so that it can be used in service of life. The flame in the heart of each individual must be found within. It expresses as atma-buddhi-manas or intelligence as wisdom and creativity, love as compassion, and will/sacrifice as giving of yourself in service of the whole. In this way the Immortal Soul is freed from captivity in the place of darkness on the outer planes and can act in the light both in the world of events, as the soul-infused personality, and in spiritual worlds.

 
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