September 21 is Peace Day or the U.N. International Day of Peace, given special emphasis this year at the U.N. with the High level Forum on a Culture of Peace opened in the General Assembly on Sept 14, with an address by the Secretary General. Peace Day is observed with a Minute of Silence at noon and, by many, with a vigil of saying the Great Invocation or related mantra on the quarter hour throughout the day. Many in the intuition group from around the world went to New York to attend this special meeting.
The meditation for Libra or October comes early this year. The keynote or seed thought suggested in the Bailey books is, "I choose the way that leads between the two great lines of force". Themes developed as preparation for this meditation may include weighing and balancing worldwide issues, seeing spirit and matter balanced and in harmony, pondering on the equilibrium needed for any well functioning whole, and treading the way of understanding between interfaith belief traditions and the scientific community's dominant agnostic/atheistic beliefs. For our culture, it is a time when women are in the process of achieving equal rights and equal pay with men. The sign of Libra begins at the equinox, when the days and nights reach the point of equality before the seasonal change.
The Center and the Path
"It is at the hub of the wheel or centre of the Scales that the true perspective can be seen correctly," Bailey writes (Esoteric Astrology, p. 235), and this is where our meditation centers itself. The two best known metaphors for the development of higher consciousness are the path and the center, one suggestive of a linear road going to a destination or goal of psychological initiation or enlightenment, and the other is circumambulation around the deepest inner center. Rituals accompany both metaphors within or outside. Famous stupas, monuments, such as the Bouddanath in Katmandu, and many others, are used for meditative circumambulation to achieve purification and enlightenment. The Catholic technique of centering is very popular with Christians attending retreats. And Carl Jung, joining with Richard Wilhelm, made famous the ancient Chinese philosophy of the circulation of energy or light from a center within. He preferred this philosophy with its principle of synchronicity, he called "an acausal connecting principle," to the predominant linear causal one.
The heart or hub of the Mind is the center or immanent source around which and from which light circulates, and is deeply and elusively apparent to most meditators often in states hard to define and symbols hard to discern but having a subjective power of presence that quickly establishes itself as the true identity of the mind itself. It is sensed as the seed of the greater Mind or principle of mind, spirit or soul from which it grew. From the great Chinese book, The Secret of the Golden Flower (pp. 24-25) "The energy of the seed, like heaven and earth, is necessary but the primal spirit is beyond the polar differences.... When men are set free from the womb, the primal spirit dwells in the square inch (between the eyes), but the conscious spirit dwells below the heart. This lower fleshy heart has the shape of a peach: it is covered with the wings of the lungs" and "is dependent upon the outside world." Murray Stein (p. 142), the well-known Jungian of the International School of Analytic Psychology in Zurich, writes, "Individuation proceeds as much by synchronicity — a union of inner psychic images and meanings and outer persons and events — as it does by causal sequences of events and outcomes."
Jung's term, individuation, refers basically to the process of analysis-synthesis, or separation-union: 1) separation — analysis — of the elements of a whole, as the first work in self-realization, 2) the dis-identification, as Assagioli called it, from a point of detachment and observation, and 3) the connection, coniunctio, to a larger whole within and without, the synthesis of the elements of a whole within the larger whole. "Individuation needs, and uses, the whole world for its various operations of separation and union," Murray (p. 140) writes. "A unique kind of psychological attitude must be created that embraces the paradox that outer is inner — sometimes also vice versa, inner is outer — and that psyche and the material world are in a sense two sides of a single coin," (ibid., p.143). Circumambulating the center is a process of individuation that goes beyond ego to the deeper Self, to be discovered and experienced. It is the journey of the examined life that leads to new horizons. It begins with analysis, then purification of each is undertaken — and this has led to much folly in the past, such as Victorian Puritanism with its denigration of normal biological shape and functions, such as repression of libido or, today, its worship, both equally distorted. The purification required for our time is clearing the distortions and projections of form, feeling, perception, reason and other cognitive functions. The greater work is synthesis of the undistorted elements. Between the two, both as trickster and guide is what Jung calls Mercurius and theosophy calls Mercury.
Mercurius as Intuition
Mercurius is the mythic name of the psychic element Jung found to be a key to the process of individuation. Blavatsky (Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p.513) writes, "Mercury is Budh, Wisdom, Enlightenment or 'reawakening' in the divine science." Bailey identifies Mercury with intuition writing that "Mercury is the revealer of the Spiritual Triad (atma-buddhi-manas or spiritual will, spiritual love and higher mind) to the soul, and this carries the disciple to the stage of the third initiation," (p. 354). Mercurius, or intuition, is found in that center hub of the wheel or scales of Libra. It is the heart of the Mind, and as such is usually associated with the ajna center between the eyes, instead of the 'gut level' as some call it. 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.' Mercurius, the winged god of the Greeks, is described as having dual qualities united in one body. Carl Jung (Alchemincal Studies, p. 218-219) writes that, "Because of his united double nature, Mercurius is described as hermaphroditic. Sometimes his body is said to be masculine and his soul as feminine, sometimes the reverse" and dual "seed of the Macrocosm." Because of his changeable, transmutative and transformative character, he is also called the 'triad that becomes the One.' As such, Mercury is the best mythic symbol of the intuition and its process. Bailey describes the intuition as hermaphroditic or partaking of both the 'feminine' and masculine' aspects. Jung lists among his many cited descriptions Mercurius as "Philosophic ambisexual Man."
Capturing this elusive mercurial quality is also the subject of the famous ten ox-herding pictures of Ch'an and Zen Buddhism. This heart of Mind is often described as having the quality of golden light, something many meditators will be familiar with, as well as the golden flower or lotus as descriptive of the unfolding psychic nature. Mercury is called the sacred planet of the 4th ray of harmony through conflict, by Bailey, the primary ray or quality of humanity itself and therefore a prime agent of human evolution. In terms of the individuation of the planet, to which this planetary meditation is dedicated, Bailey writes that "When Mercury, the divine Messenger, the principle of illusion and the expression of the active higher mind, has performed his mission and 'led humanity into the light' and the Christ-child out of the womb of time and of the flesh into the light of day and of manifestation, then the task of the great centre we call humanity will be accomplished," (ibid., 272-273).
As the world increasingly separates into the religious and the secular, the need increases for language that centers on psychological process rather than God transcendent. Murray Stein's (p. 185) diagnosis and treatment for the Western religion of our time is recognition that, "God is too small and too confined in boxes of dogma and habit. Recognize that your tribalism is based on wish and projection and is very distorted, having very little or nothing to do with reality." In one sense this is an opportunity to enjoy greater freedom of thought and self-investigation psychologically, exploring the subjective reality in which we all actually exist, albeit through identification with outer people and contents. Asking the large questions that do not have adequate answers becomes a journey into what Aldous Huxley and others call God immanent and today is called spirituality, another inadequate term. It is that way in which human consciousness reflects the cosmic whole and becomes a part of it through individuation or into a wider identification. Meditation and study have always been the methods of choice. And this monthly meditation as world service is dedicated to the birth of humanity as an individualized entity entering a larger world and higher stage of evolution.
"In every culture, the sky and the religious impulse are intertwined.... It's so vast and so far away that my own insignificance becomes palpable. But I don't feel rejected by the sky. I'm part of it," Carl Sagan writes (Pale Blue Dot, p. 120). The spacious mind exists within us as generosity, magnanomous universality, and limitless potential. Having the sense of being small in relation to the world or being large in relation to a small intuitive thought, are powers of the soul or siddhis called anima and mahima in Patanjali's yoga sutras, the first textbook of meditation. Today the powers of technology to make enormous quantities of data fit into tiny grains of sand or silicone is our power, along with machines that can move mountains. Similar powers exist within us, if we were to pay as much attention to our Self or Mind as we do to our iPads. Meditation is a science, a field of knowledge, like any other; proficiency is acquired with persistence and experience leads to revelation. The starry sky of your own archetypal constellations awaits apperception.
Creative Intelligence is the parent of science and of technology, the art of making conceptual science useful (5th and 7th rays). These are the two predominant sources of energy of this meditation. They are also the major sources of humanity's power during this period in history. This is what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren demonstrated when they put human foot prints on the moon. (The funeral and national commemoration of Neil Armstrong, a hero for all time, was on Aug 31, the Virgo blue moon, and last blue moon for several years.) This was not just abstract science but a real time group endeavor motivated by a leader and a nation, technology combined with power and leading to the first photograph, the picture of how we look. The implications for humanity's individuation, using Jung's term, are far reaching and profound.
The moon has become more familiar because we've been there, and marking time by the moon has special significance for us, who dedicate one special meditation every month at the time of the full moon to a united planetary endeavor in service of humanity and its evolutionary growth in awareness and consciousness, opening the door to cosmic, systemic and universal dimensions. The cycles of the moon are natural, visible and the same for everything on earth; they are not based on human reckoning but enjoin us to 'keep looking up' as one popular astronomer made his key phase. And in tough times this is equally good advice. At night a whole new scenario of reality becomes evident. Perception expands. Realization of the spaciousness of the macrocosmic view layers itself in the reflection of our minds. The simple and ancient formula 'as above, so below' becomes a natural secular meditation with no need for relying on religious terminology, doctrines or identification. The earth, the sun with its planets, and the cosmos are all reflected in the mirror of our minds. In Vajrayana — esoteric — Budddhism, this is actually called 'mirror wisdom'. In one Buddhist image, like the Greek caduceus, the sensory mind and the conceptual mind, wind themselves around the spacious, limitless and infinite mind known at death if not found before, in this phenomenal layer of life tied to time and space, like 'tying a rock to a cloud.'
As more and more people become secular in outlook, the need for non-religious terminology grows. As Murray Stein (p. 175) writes, "One can study all of these religious traditions with great profit, but once consciousness has reached beyond the notion of a concrete God projection, one is not able to join in these practices with much depth of conviction....The problem is with belief itself, no matter what the content." Just using natural observable phenomena as a basis for meditation is a good start. Extracting the noumena from the phenomena, or seeing the thing-in-itself beyond its outer appearance is meditation. Using power to explore new worlds, instead of building weapons of mass destruction, can be seen as an important step on the way to humanity's individuation, its self-realization, growth and freedom through detachment from itself by reaching the greater polarity, the foreign opposite as the unknown solar system in which we live, instead of another nation we seek to dominate.
Happy World Peace Day on the 21st and all good wishes for being able to see the way "that leads between the two great lines of force," in monthly meditation, and experiencing the circulation of light that naturally flows from the intuitive mind,
Joann S. Bakula
Bailey, Alice. Esoteric Astrology. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
Blavatsky, H.P. The Secret Doctrine., Vol. I. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House.
Elliott, William. Tying Rocks to Clouds. NY: Random House.
Jung, C.G. Alchemical Studies, 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
—. "Synchronicity" in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. NJ: Princeton U. Press.
Sagan, Carl. Pale Blue Dot. NY: Random House.
Stein, Murray (2006). The Principle of Individuation. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications.
Wilhelm, Richard. The Secret of the Golden Flower. NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.