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Libra, the Sacred balance

Joann S. Bakula
October 2009


The full moon of Libra is Sunday, October 4, 6:11 am UT, so many meetings will be on Saturday. Between the symbol for Libra, the scales, and the seed thought, "I choose the way which leads between the two great lines of force", we have much to choose from in our monthly meditation. The two great lines are suggestive of all polarities or dualities making up a whole, whether expressed as positive and negative, male/female, left/right, matter/spirit, wave/particle, being/becoming, or essence/existence. The scales, being the sign of the legal profession, are a symbol of the equality of all in an ideal justice system, and the social equality of legislation. For meditators, it means choosing to stand between spirit and matter, listening to both, and becoming the intermediary with understanding for both. "Before creation, silence and the stillness of a focussed point" is said of both Aries and Libra (Esoteric Astrology, p. 248), making them both 'doors to Shamballa,' the center of peaceful, silent will on our planet, and one of the three great principles of mind, heart and will in microcosm and macrocosm.

Learning to listen isn't always easy, or simple. Shamballa is called the center of will and purpose where our Planetary Logos listens to the larger community in which we live, the community of the sun and the other planets, sacred and non-sacred, and the wider cosmos of our relationship. We, too, must listen to the larger world of which the human family and experience is only one small part. We are the link, the intermediary between spirit and matter, one small kingdom.

Nature encompasses three whole kingdoms in the democracy of God's purpose and interconnected web of Being. The soul is in another kingdom, one in which the integration of life has not been lost, where the constant domination of human needs and wants does not drown out all other voices. We've forgotten the art of listening, not to the propaganda and relentless spinning of truth by TV, but listening to nature, to another species, a plant or a mountain, a tree or a forest. Listening to the voice of silence within is almost like listening to another species, the sound of the soul has become so alien, and the voice of the culture so dominant. To be silent, still and alone in nature, and able to listen to it, results in a sweet bond of communion in which 'other' and self disappear in a new union of life, with all the joy and responsibility that that entails.

The Silent, Still Hub of the Wheel
The will center-whether it's called Shamballa, the Father's House, the Planetary Logos or by another name in your tradition-- is described as the center of peaceful, silent will. In contrast, the heart center, Hierarchy, is a beehive of activity circulating prana, spiritual truth, wisdom and compassion. This pattern holds true for the silent Self at the center of a human and the constantly active heart that circulates what life needs.

Libra, the constellation, is said to be the energy that controls the hub of the Great Wheel. It is the place where all of "the twelve zodiacal energies meet and cross" (ibid, 183), the place of equilibrium where polar opposites, like spirit and matter, day and night, and the polar pairs of the zodiac come together. It is the point of universality and the point of power. "It is at the hub of the wheel or centre of the Scales that the true perspective can be seen correctly. " (ibid, 235) It is, therefore, the place and the "sign of intuitive perception" (ibid, 227) and this is the gift of our meditation together as the combined group of esotericists. Equality alone leads to equilibrium, the state of balance, whether in legislation (political will), economically (money), or in terms of sex/gender, or race (relationship). This is the threefold energy of the divine trinity expressed by humans on earth to regulate affairs and influence social attitude. . "The key for growth is the cultivation of harmlessness," which is based upon the completed point of view. Half knowledge or one-sided knowledge is always prejudiced. Without dialogue between sides there is never reconciliation and stability for the future. This requires listening, not to the processed information of the media or the slander of reckless rhetoric, but to each other.

Shamballa is , as we know, also called the Great Wheel of time, or the kalachakra in Tibetan Buddhism, about which there is intense interest in the West, since the Dalai Lama's exile. The hub of the wheel is where we center our meditation, seeing the 12 spokes as equal pairs in equilibrium with each other so that the wheel of time and evolution can turn in balance in our time. From that center the door into Shamballa can be glimpsed opening the revelation into our single kingdom's purpose of integrating nature and spirit in sacred balance. From here the narrow path to Shamballa may be found, for "Libra admits the soul into the world centre which we call Shamballa" (ibid,168). It's at the hub of the wheel, the place where the two poles find their center of stability, in microcosm and macrocosm. In this meditation we find the sacred balance between the three kingdoms of nature and the spiritual kingdoms, taking our place as the intermediary who listens to the silent voices of nature, and to the soul or spiritual triad of energies, atma-buddhi-manas.

Beside the wheel of Indo-Buddhist religious tradition, is the Taoist symbol of yin/yang, a perfect symbol of the interrelation of feminine/masculine, positive/negative, wave/particle, and spirit/matter. It is the symbol of both being and becoming, the pattern of life held in etheric DNA and the process of evolution through time. Being and becoming are universal and acknowledged by all major esoteric paths with rich literature on both in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity, to name a few. The famous 20th century Sufi, Hazrat Inayat Khan, wrote The Art of Being and Becoming, a popular book of transpersonal psychologists today. Being and becoming is the dual thread that runs through the esoteric part of all religions and is central to esoteric philosophy, theosophy and all major esoteric groups, from Blavatsky and Bailey, Steiner, Roerich, Gurdjieff, to the Sufis, yogis, Buddhists, Kabbalists and Christians. A gathering of these many groups in the esoteric traditions was held in 2004 under the banner of the green movement called "green hermeticism." They affirmed the great truth of our time that the art of becoming includes a deep sacred relationship to nature, to another kingdom in the web of life, to 'service' not as showy media moments, but as an enduring relationship to other life forms, the spontaneous and authentic expression of compassionate relatedness. To be, one has to listen, not to the social world, but to the natural world and to the inner spiritual world. This is the path to being.

"The way to do, is to be," the Tao says.

Balance in Nature
Whether you call your awareness of nature deep ecology, green hermeticism, conservation, earth stewardship, or a reverence for all life, it is part of a growing sense of universal responsibility toward nature, not as human controllers of it, but as controllers of our own behavior and the carbon footprints we leave on it. A more equitable balance between the right of human development and the rights of the environment seeks new expression. It is humans who must reestablish their balance in nature.

John Muir, the famous ecologist and conservationist, has recently been featured in the PBS series in the USA by Ken Burns, as someone who made listening to the natural world his spiritual method. He listened to mountains, glaciers and trees, coming to understand the sacred balance between the kingdoms of nature and the human kingdom. His was the path where scientific knowledge and spiritual knowledge come together in a new way, an attractive path for many today. He developed a profound recognition of the beingness in nature and its own becoming in the process of living. He saw the preservation of wilderness as a mirror in which the human Eden or original state can be re-experienced, like going home to where you originally came from. He saw nature as a great cathedral. This profound spiritual experience resulted in the idea of the National Parks, the first wild areas set aside in Yellowstone and Yosemite. The path that began with the silent listening of an individual, led to a new way for a democracy to view the special places of nature, as held in public trust.

Like the native Americans, he saw all life as alive, with purpose and equal in life. His path is the worship of God through beauty and the "baptism of beauty" through knowledge and experience of nature, written esoterically in the "scripture of nature." His method of compassionate engagement has been likened to bodhisattvic generosity, which is based upon not just an occasional act but a permanent quality of character. This language and method of initiation is universal the world around, whether the voice heard is that of the mountains, grasslands, deserts or oceans. Whether in the tradition of St. Francis or Nicholas Roerich, or the whole Vedic tradition, the worldview is one in which the human world is perfectly intermeshed with the social and natural orders. Vedic Law is based upon harmlessness and a worldview in which, "Absence of cruelty is the highest Law in the world," and "The bond with the good cannot decay," (The Clay Sanskrit Library, NYU Press). It is a worldview in which moksha (enlightenment), the 'highest good,' includes reverence for all life, and the harmlessness of a wider, non-sentimental and completed point of view based upon divine understanding.

The U.N. and the Cycle of Conferences
The United Nations is a kind of hub of the world's governance and regulatory structure. This year, in the cycle of conferences, many crucial issues are being pondered. Climate change, nuclear disarmament, and Middle East peace talks being only the top three. Since Al Gore and the U.N. Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2007, the possibility of a way to express this expanding awareness of responsibility to the environment with sociopolitical will has gained momentum. Curbing the deleterious impact of human life-style on the environment will be considered in Copenhagen in December, addressing the issue of climate change due to human behavior. It is planned that this conference will result in a new international pact of more responsible behavior by nations. Nuclear disarmament and economic troubles are also primary issues affecting the environment. Testing humanity's will to find the sacred balance between human desires and the environment, nature and our responsibility to it, is a test of our readiness for initiation into higher consciousness and living. Seeing the sacred balance, then acting with the will-to-good, is a step toward humanity's realization of a new awakening identity, that of humanity, the kingdom, as world disciple.

Wishing you the strength of the silent center of stability and the sacred balance of Libra,
Joann S. Bakula Oct 1, 2009 bakula@jeffnet.org