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Individual Worth

Joann S. Bakula
August, 2012


The seed thought, keynote, or 'sound' suggested in the Bailey books for this meditation is, "I am That and That am I" based on the name of God or the tetragrammaton of the Bible, IHVH or YHWH, often written as 'I am that am' and associated by Kabbalists with the four worlds: Emanation, Creation, Formation, Action, or the world of making, as some call it. Freemasons, such as Paul Foster Case, refer to the four worlds as the Archetypal World, Creative World, Formative World and Material World. In Bailey (WM, p. 393), the seed thought "I am that I am" refers to the human being, the true person and the soul as the self of all. "'I am', — the cry of every human being; 'I am That',— the cry of every personality, who realizes his selfhood and uses his personality in order to express the will of the indwelling entity, the true person. 'I am that I am'--the cry of the individual soul as it is lost in the whole and realizes its oneness with the soul or self of all." Expressed another way Bailey (TCF) refers to the progression from "personality consciousness" to "egoic consciousness, and the planes of the [Spiritual] Triad", to "monadic consciousness."

These monthly meditations, open to all who seek to ease suffering and to achieve right human relations, offer an opportunity to join together subjectively to ponder on the condition of humanity and its environment. Today the imbalance between the 1% and the 99% has reached such disproportionality that wage slavery is a growing fear. In such an environment the spirit of mass rebellion arises to offer resistance to the injustice and to voice demand for a solution, such as the non-violent Occupy movement.

Self-awareness and The Rebel
One Nobel prize winner above all others addressed the importance of this moment in any crisis: Albert Camus in his book The Rebel, is one of a group of extraordinary writers who comprise the existential movement, a philosophy unique in being described by Robert Solomon and many others as an "attitude," rather than a body of precepts. In philosophical terms the central position of the individual is key to the ideas of Descartes, Kant, Hegel and the existentialists, as well as of the founding fathers of the United States, the human and civil rights movements, democracy, and in many other areas of human aspiration which are coming to the fore again in our time.

Existentialism is one of the most influential philosophies of the last 200 years. "The existential attitude is first of all an attitude of self-consciousness" (Solomon). I exist therefore I am. The individual is aware of herself as distinct from the herd. It is a philosophy of individualism. Individuality or selfhood denotes a person separate from others, with his or her own needs, qualities, interests, and goals often at odds with a society that is increasingly perceived as sick. "The only truly self-conscious person is the man who is aware of purpose, of a self-directed life and of a developed and definite life plan and programme," Bailey writes (EA). This self-awareness enables a moral compass found within to steer by, leaving the collective to its herd behavior control and fear base.

In this meditation under the stars of Leo we do well to consider the Leo opportunity as a developmental stage in the evolution of consciousness from herd to individual to group or holistic consciousness, especially as it applies to humanity at this crisis point of imbalance and inequality voiced as the 1%, who own most of the wealth, and the 99% who labor for little or who are unemployed. Nietzsche described this progression in the threefold metamorphoses of the camel, who gladly bears the burden, to the lion who says "No!" to slavery of any kind, and to the child who declares the holy "Yes!" to creative life. (See Leo commentary and letter of 2009 for full explication). At this time the qualities of individuality, self-awareness and the courage of the lion are most needed to find the path through this difficult time of what is beginning to look like permanent and egregious inequality. When a talk show host is said to earn 30 million a year and a firefighter, who puts his life in danger to save others, is paid minimum wage, then the system has lost its sanity and reason. A system with such an absurd imbalance of worth is bound to topple over. The qualities of each stage of development are not lost when a new stage is attained; holistic thinkers value the natural rebellion toward social injustice. The child is father of the man, as Wordsworth said, remembering foundational lessons, and rebellion against a sick world is a gift of perspective existentialism gave us which are most needed today.

To the question, What is a rebel? Camus (pp. 13-16), an advocate of non-violence, answers, he is a person who says 'no, beyond this point I will not go,' and says 'yes,' to the value and worth of himself and to the principles that make a human being human. He says yes to a better way and the right of the individual to stand up against the oppression of the power structure of any given time. In terms of the evolution of consciousness, this stage of Leo represents the achievement of individuality, the time between herd consciousness and identification with the whole. It is a time when the integration of the personality results in someone who may be truly called an individual.

Linda Quest, a Trustee of the Lucis Trust, in her article on Albert Camus writes, "The no of the rebel signals detachment from both extremes in the pairs of opposites; "no" to insanity and also "no" to police rule; "no" to absurdity and also "no" to absolutism; "no" to chaos and also "no" to totalitarianism; "no" to anarchy and also "no" to determinism; "no" to extremes of any sort and yes to moderation." Rebellion against slavery and servitude in whatever economic system deprives a person of adequate means to support himself or herself is a natural outcome of individuality and is the duty of the oppressed themselves. "Rebellion...demands, defends, and re-creates [moderation] throughout history and its eternal disturbances....It is a perpetual conflict, continually created and mastered by the intelligence. It does not triumph either in the impossible or in the abyss. It finds its equilibrium through them." This kind of rebellion drives progress throughout history and is now fueling the worldwide recognition of human rights within nations and between nations.

Implicit Dialogue as Right Human Relations
Camus concludes his book with an impassioned appeal for unimpeded dialogue. Today we seem to have chosen the opposite view with our current policy of applying behavior modification techniques to nations and individuals through economic sanctions and social humiliation with little or no dialogue at all. "Instead of the implicit and untrammelled dialogue through which we come to recognize our similarity and consecrate our destiny, servitude gives way to the most terrible of silences.....it perpetuates the silent hostility that separates the oppressor from the oppressed. It kills the small part of existence that can be realized on this earth through the mutual understanding of men....The mutual understanding and communication discovered by rebellion can survive only in the free exchange of conversation. Every ambiguity, every misunderstanding leads to death" and concludes that "clear language and simple words are the only salvation from this death" (p. 283). Camus' impassioned call for 'implicit and untrammelled dialogue' then "replaces servitude, falsehood, terror, and violence with decency and good order," Linda Quest concludes.

Past-President Jimmy Carter, also a Noble Prize winner, is known for his long-standing efforts to resolve conflicts through dialogue to enhance relations among nations and parties within nations. Without dialogue there is no equality and perhaps this is the key to both economic fairness and conflict resolution. Equality is at the heart of rebellion, of human and civil rights, of minorities and of the individual.

Teenagers often go through a period of rebellion (not to be confused with Camus' profound ideas) when trashing their environment, their parents and other authority figures is painfully common. One wonders what the enlightened Heart center of the planet thinks when we trash another country with war, or trash each other with slander and prejudice. When we act from this hostility we destroy a part of ourselves that recognizes beauty as a fundamental principle upholding the value architecture of our inner self and its well being. When we trash other people, we break the golden rule, trashing our own hearts with debris. This is how we build a wall, brick by brick, shutting off the love which has its source in our hearts. Soon love lives in a space too small to see or feel and a ruthless drive to conquer more living space takes its place. An army of aggressive abuse is then sent out to destroy the projected enemy without, when the real enemy within is the lack of love we are left with when the heart is closed off and closed down.

Gandhi's method of truth
Gandhi's example of mature rebellion against oppression is an unexcelled model of right method. Gandhi first read about non-violent civil disobedience in Thoreau and in Tolstoy's The Kingdonm of God is Within You. "Non-violent non-cooperation with evil" became his slogan. He called the British India's friend but their policies in India evil. He organized his ashram and independence movement around satyagraha, or the insistence on truth as the best non-violent force for lasting change. He used the power of communicating truth alone as right method and right speech. "A perfect vision of Truth can only follow a complete realization of Ahimsa," Gandhi wrote in his An Autobiography, called "the story of my experiments with truth." His ahimsa or harmlessness meant harmlessness on all levels of discipleship: non-killing, non-lying, non-adultery, non-stealing, and non-greed. His truth was the sacredness of all creation and a life of acts that treated all as equally sacred. He spoke words of truth to power, unlike the powers of today who refuse to dialogue with those who disagree with them!

The power of meditation to affect change cannot be measured, like the power of love to heal, but we know in our hearts and intuition that it is so. The silent will of masses of people who see a better, more just world is true power that drives humanity, the world disciple forward, into choosing right human relations for the new age of the future with Aquarian energies to match its zodiacal opposite, Leo. The Tibetan summed up this crucial idea as 'the fact of the One Humanity and the value of the individual.'

As we join together to meditate on the unique energies available in this meditation of Leo and all that it can stand for in human development and the human value system, we add our intuitive insights and will-to-good to the invocative appeal of humanity as a whole for social evolution and justice for all.

Joann S. Bakula

References
Bailey, Alice A. A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. NY: Lucis Publishing Co., p. 420.
   A Treatise on White Magic. NY: Lucis Publishing Co, p. 393.
   Esoteric Astrology. NY: Lucis Publishing Co., p. 288
Camus, Albert (1956/1991). The Rebel. NY: Vintage-Random House, pp. 13-16, 301, 283.
Carter, Jimmy. The Carter Center. www:cartercenter.org Case, Paul Foster (1947). The Tarot. Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing Co.
Gandhi, M.K. (1927/1997). An Autobiography. Ahmedabad, India: Navajivan Trust, p. 420.
Quest, Linda. "Albert Camus: A Forerunner," The Beacon Magazine, May-June, 1973.
Solomon, Robert C. (2005). Existentialism, 2nd ed. NY Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. ix-xx.

 
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