In this third meditation of the high spiritual interlude, the psychological awakening of Easter and the enlightenment of the Wesak are carried forward in the Festival of Humanity and Goodwill by the Christ as he carries on the work of being the World Bodhisattva. These two examples of enlightened beings, the Buddha and the Christ, as well as their respective religions, figure in this third meditation of high spiritual importance. The link of spiritual lineage East and West, past and present, is affirmed at this meditation of June or Gemini, as the one human family deeply affirms its inner synthesis by furthering world integration. The new world view unfolding from global integration is expressed in the powerful stanzas of the Great Invocation, a universal prayer, and by far the most famous and popular prayer of the Aquarian age. It connects the individual's mind, heart and will to the mind, heart and will of the planet.
This third of the three high meditations of the year is also celebrated as World Invocation Day. Visualization of the central triangle of the planet helps to set the conceptual stage for the meditation: the will center (called Shamballa, the Father's House); the heart center of the Hierarchy of Enlightened and Perfected Beings who work upon the inner side of life, with the Christ as head of the Hierarchy; and the mind center manifested in humanity by the most evolved, which is just coming on-line, as it were. We are only now beginning to awaken to our spiritual environment, as well as our natural environment. We see now that the planet is not ours to do with whatever we wish, and that there is a larger plan which humanity is struggling to understand. When we awaken to the world we live in, outside and inside, above us and below, we awaken to an integrated world view and subsequent responsibility to the whole. This is the natural affect of understanding. It is the Pentecost celebration of understanding each other no matter the tongue used, because we want to hear each nation and appreciate every people. It means listening culturally, of course, and also going beyond to listen and try to understand the languages of nature and life, set free from human domination. In this way the three aspects of divinity: will, love/wisdom and intelligent activity are more deeply expressed each year, to find additional expression in the nine remaining monthly meditations of attribute. In this way humanity fulfills its purpose by helping to meditate the plan of love and light into expression on earth, truly blessing it.
The Buddha's Last Sermon: Be a Lamp Unto Yourself
It is said that at this full moon of June, the World Bodhisattva preaches the Last Sermon of the Buddha, forestalling worship by inspiring self-reliance and self-discipline. A free translation of the Buddha's last sermon goes something like this:
Be a lamp unto yourself,
Rely on yourselves,
Don't rely on external help.
Hold fast to the truth as a lamp,
Seek liberation in the truth alone,
Don't look for assistance outside of yourself.
Let each overcome the three causes of their own suffering:
Those arising from the body's cravings,
hunger, thirst, sleep and comfort;
Those arising from the cravings of the five senses,
everything is food to the eyes, ears, nose, touch and taste;
Those arising from cravings due to ideas and concepts,
or to reasonings and false reasonings, feelings and hard feelings,
perceptions, selective and distorted perceptions.
Keep watch over your own hearts,
This alone will make an end to suffering.
Be a lamp unto yourself,
Hold fast to the truth as to a lamp.
The truth in Buddha's last sermon is eternally refreshing to mind and heart. Find the light within yourself. Do not believe something just because an authority figure said it's true. Do not believe what comes from inference or analogy. (These three are explicated in the treatises on valid cognition.) Think for yourself. Find out for yourself. Direct experience of the phenomenal world results in knowledge not founded on concept.
In order to reach still higher to the plane we call the intuition, or bodhi mind--buddhi in theosophical lexicon--you have first to put aside both what comes from the direct experience of the senses (which Patanjali in the yoga sutras called second-hand knowledge), and everything that comes from others, or third hand knowledge. These forms of knowledge are called mis-knowledge or incorrect knowledge; they are the primary reason why the wheel of samsara keeps spinning, and are the very sources of illusion, glamour and maya. They are, then, the main obstacles to intuition, which comes from the lamp or light within, revealing what is lies behind an impermanent and transient world. How much of what we think we know actually comes from authorities who are later proven wrong? How much comes from a source having nothing to do with what we have heard, read or seen, but from the lamp within? It is to that lamp, the flame within, that this meditation is dedicated. In that light we can see light. In that light we can intuit purpose and plan.
"We cannot make objective determinations independent of relationships," the Dalai Lama explains. "Just as we can speak of someone being a mother, a daughter, or a spouse only in relation to another person, likewise the objects of attachment or anger are only desirable or hateful in relation to the perceiver who is experiencing attachment or anger," reads an excerpt from his new book, The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason (cited in Buddhadharma Summer 2009 p. 32) on no self, no other, and on the profound view of emptiness that leaves nothing out. The Dalai Lama's peace has been described as peace with energy and independence, so in keeping with the Buddha's Last Sermon.
The Holy Spirit: the Flame of Love
It's interesting to note that Pope Benedict XVI has also reiterated faith and reason as two pillars of wisdom in Catholicism. He reminds us that faith frees reason from its limits. And aren't these the two guideposts that most of us use to navigate life? Faith in life itself and its ultimate meaning, registered at levels beyond cognition, get us through death of a loved one and death itself, deep loss, despair, and all the forms of suffering life has to offer. These values are both religious and innate. They are faith in the ultimate plan of life itself, arrived at when the cliff of unknowing yawns just ahead requiring a giant leap or a fall into despair. Is this philosophical suicide? Or is it transcendence of dogmatism of any kind, that would have us believe we know the whole truth, whether by science or faith? We go on anyway, knowing that our knowledge is partial and that life requires on-going examination. The space between faith and reason is, in truth, the state of grace where tolerance rules; instead we have turned it into a 'no man's land' where opposing forces shoot at anyone there! We look to the fiery spirit that burns through limitations to open the mind, heart and will to what is possible. We find the creative imagination that fuels the will-to-build anew at this dawn of a new time, when more is known and more is required of us.
This third meditation is one of the holy spirit, the spirit of truth breathed forth into all disciples as the flame of love actualized. In this fiery spirit of love all is understood, love is unbound from human limitation and set free to reach out through kindness and compassion. The holy spirit kindles the flame in the human heart, a flame that never goes out, like life itself. In this meditation the love of God transcendent touches the love in the human heart where God immanent is actualized in the world, to pour forth to all nations and kingdoms. This is the purpose of the plan of love and light; it is the truth of love as the eternal flame giving birth to all manifested life, and the truth of purpose to see each step in the creation of the necessary new relationships toward living and life.
Christ preached about the character and values of the citizens of the kingdom of God. Bailey writes, "He demonstrated the values of that kingdom in His Own life, portraying for us the character of its citizenship, and He opened the door wide for all who could fit themselves (through service and discipline) to pass out of the human kingdom into the spiritual kingdom." He put "His Cross as a boundary, a symbol, and an example of method, between the world of tangible values and the world of spiritual values….Love, brotherhood, cooperation, service, self-sacrifice, inclusiveness, freedom from doctrine, recognition of divinity-these are the characteristics of the citizen of the kingdom" of God (From Bethlehem to Calvary, p. 260-261). Right methods are service, self-discipline, self-sacrifice and inclusiveness, all of which have been used to inspire recent college graduates who face diminished job prospects during this time. Right purpose is creative tension between the intelligent will-to-good and the immediate goal of the plan for humanity and its relationships higher and lower, inner and outer.
World Invocation Day and the Festival of Humanity
This Festival of Humanity is also called the Festival of Christ, as representative of the highest evolutionary point that humanity has yet achieved. It is also a recognition of the center which we call the human race coming on-line with the Will center and the Heart center-- humanity representing the high point of nature, all-too-human nature crowned by enlightened knowledge and consciousness of the One Life. Slowly the light is shining in from the flame of love and compassion. Slowly we are becoming aware of the great community of life we are a part of, that Earth is a part of. Slowly we are waking up: "the Festival of the Christ, when He-as leader of the New Group of World Servers-employs the new Invocation on behalf of all people of goodwill in all lands; at the same time, He gathers up the inchoate and unexpressed demands of those masses who seek a new and better way of life. They want love in daily living, right human relations and an understanding of the underlying Plan" (The Reappearance of the Christ, p. 46).
As we say the Great Invocation let us distribute voltage energy to the important work of all leaders who address the international community on behalf of all nations, peoples, religions, and kingdoms; and the United Nations, reaching one high point in the Copenhagen conference on climate change in December; and all of the other points of entrance for the evolutionary flame of love and understanding to demonstrate in intelligent activity. As Robert Thurman (The Central Philosophy of Tibet, p. 172) expresses it from the Buddhist point of view, "Buddha-will is released infinitely in sensible activity directed to the benefit of all sentient beings."
We standing with you in the light of correct knowledge, love/compassion and the will-to-build, and send you blessings in your good work.