The myth of Hercules is used by Alice Bailey to tell the story of the evolution of a human being, the evolution of consciousness and behavior, from animal-man to spiritual man, illustrated in twelve parts or months as the sun moves through the zodiac, through time. It's the story of a hero told against the backdrop of the cosmos, a small creature fulfilling his destiny through trial and error until he achieves the goal and becomes a new super man, "out of two, one new man." This new integrated human is the goal of the new age, marked by the sun's 'entrance' into a new constellation, Aquarius, and ushering in of a new age, a global age, characterized by group interplay, group integration, and group service. The United Nations and its many organizations are already evidence of this new time of global thinking, as is the world economy, for better or for worse, and new global, worldwide communications.
In our new planetary ritual of meditating and thinking together on a monthly basis at the full moon as one group with diverse views united in our intention of world service, we consider the next immediate goals that the human family can realistically achieve. This full moon of Sagittarius offers new hope and vision. The keynote of the full moon (Friday, Dec 12, 2008, 4:38 pm UT) meditation, focusing on goals as it does, gives us a new perspective each year, especially this year. As one leader said recently, 'Never let a crisis go to waste!' Change is upon us and as an open group of all who seek to serve humanity as a whole, we use this monthly meditation to vitalize the forms that our emerging global structure can and should take to improve human relationships and relationship to nature. Yes we can use the economic crisis to help the environment; yes we can use the crisis to develop long-term goals to create new green jobs that will begin to reverse the harmful affects of the oil-driven age. Yes we can create a fairer, more equitable economic structure that will begin to close the gap between the socio-economic classes of society. The new group of those who have made a long-term commitment to serving humanity is already engaged in thinking together and building thoughtforms of solution to the problems of humanity, which always precede action. The esoteric group has the opportunity to add ritual to the thought. We present the incoming 7th ray planetary ritual of world service meditation with a cosmic backdrop to the intelligent activity already in process. We think along with the new group of world servers, adding a depth of meditation that includes the spiritual, and a 7th ray space-age monthly ritual known by the name of a heavenly body: either the full moon or the sun, as in solar festivals or full-sun meditations, referring to the same alignment. This is both natural and abstract, appealing to the secular-experiential groups and to the many religions who mark holy times according to the full moon, making this ritual universal in its very structure, and therefore befitting a new Aquarian age ritual open to all who seek to serve humanity as a whole, whether scientist or esotericist.
Alice Bailey uses the language of astro-mythology, a combination of mythology, astrology and astronomy, to describe the journey of the hero, Hercules, not just as the conquering Roman strongman, but as a disciple in training to become initiate/wiseman. This adds another interpretation of the evolved human as a spiritual being, instead of the popular secular superman, a bionic hero whose body is more developed than his mind. The strongman in Bailey must conquer his own nature, human nature, the nature within, in addition to nature outside. Bailey's Hercules is evolved as an archetype in the Jungian psychological sense. Jung described the evolution of the male archetype in 4 stages as progressing from body-centered, to emotionally-poetically centered, to mentally and leadership centered, to the wiseman, spiritually centered. This last stage he illustrated with Mahatma Gandhi. One need only look at Governor Schwartzenegger to see how very real and accurate this psychological progression is through the first three stages. The battle is still going on in the minds of the philosophically inclined intelligentsia between Nietzsche's secular view of the evolved super human, the ubermensch, as the new ideal, and the spiritual view described by Jung, as well as Bailey, Blavatsky, Roerich, and so many others. Indeed, it is humanity itself who must decide, whether it is either/or or both/and.
Hercules has 12 tests equated with the 12 months of a year, which can be reduced to the 6 polar opposites. Bailey charts the course: "Gemini is the opposite of Sagittarius; Gemini duality; Sagittarius unity, the one-pointed going forward, the unified personality, conscious of the soul, determined to enter the sign Capricorn where the great transition is made out of the fourth into the fifth or spiritual kingdom." The Labours of Hercules, p. 159. The unified or integrated personality naturally becomes group conscious, and the world server chooses identification with humanity as a whole, while the self-server chooses identification with only one part, the material part. "In Virgo, Hercules became conscious, not of soul and body placed in juxtaposition to each other, but of the fact that latent within himself was the infinite Christ; that the personality, the form side, was nurturing a beautiful hidden something, and his eyes were opened." (ibid.) Then he saw the direction that Sagittarius is famous for revealing: "The flame that gleams beyond the mind reveals direction sure." (ibid, p.156) Hercules becomes intuitive. He achieves buddhic consciousness in theosophical terminology, or bodhi mind in Buddhist, or one of the many theoretical post-formal operational stages correlated by Ken Wilber in the 21 charts of Integral Psychology. Hercules achieves the next stage in human evolution and cognitive development.
The constellation Hercules itself, one of the oldest sky-figure constellations in the northern night sky, looks in the direction of Sagitta, the arrow, and, as Bailey notes, to Aquila, the eagle, which is in the opposite direction from Corona Borealis. Bailey writes that Hercules "portrays the aspirant looking not at the crown but at the eagle, Aquila. Personality looks at the crown" and either feels inadequate due to circumstances or, one might add, the opposite, and feels competitive with others, overvaluing him/herself and undervaluing others, clearly exposing the familiar glamour of vanity, pride, biased judgment, and the point of view of the personality. "Hercules, the disciple, is not concerned about the crown, he is looking at the eagle, the spirit aspect. He is occupied with that marvelous symbol of light emerging, which makes all victory possible. Keep your eye on the eagle; call down the fire; do not look at the ground; be centered in divinity. A.A.B." (ibid, p.154)
For those who prefer the religious terminology of world servers who love the world, to the more secular one of Hercules, or who are truly inclusive, preferring to include both groups, the following description from the Lucis Trust is offered as a song to Christ and the latent Christ within, or Christ consciousness. Both groups, the secular and spiritual, have leaders dedicated to the same world service, stemming from the same universal principles which give unanimity to the whole new Aquarian group; indeed, most scientists are secular. Both groups have leaders in government, business, education, religion, science, and many other fields. But the religious language also heralds the appearance of the new empowered human, always there in potential, now manifest in Christ.
He belongs to all humanity irrespective of nation, race, religion, social or cultural background. He is the 'same great Identity' which those of different ideologies recognise under different names. The Christ is God-man, human-divine, a fusion of the vertical way of at-one-ment and the horizontal way of service. He is total human experience fused with the inner life force which gives coherence, intelligence and purpose to life on earth.
The Christ is a Person, a Presence, a Principle. He brings together in one sweep of continuous energy flow, the cosmic fountainhead, the planetary manifestation and the human expression. He is power and livingness, love and wisdom, light and understanding. He is the builder of the new world, the new age: the driving power within the human heart and mind which produces the new forms of the new and coming civilisation. He is the magnetic and attractive force which 'lifts up' and redeems the density of materialism. He ignites the spark of divinity within each human being. He is the fiery love of God for man which inspires sacrifice and renunciation. The Christ is the archetype of the true Aquarian: he is cooperative, inclusive, intelligent and active. His motive is love for humanity: his keynote is service. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life for all mankind. He is the beacon in the darkness, the essence of divine truth and reality, the guarantor of ultimate spiritual achievement for "as he is so can we be in this world".
At this time when the light of Hanukkah and the goodwill of Christmas are celebrated by millions of people, we reaffirm our bond with all who seek to serve the world and humanity, by building new forms of lighted relationships, of right human relationships within the human family and with nature, so that we can enter a new time and a new age of more evolved living.
Wishing you a merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes for 2009.