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From Bullying to Brotherhood: The Battle of Authoritarianism

By Joann Bakula
October 2006


The keynote reminds us that for people on the spiritual Path the battles we face are both interior struggles, and the struggle to make a better, saner world for the future. Our war is the battle to see the values and principles of right human relations preserved in a rapidly changing world, prone to corruption. Our battle is also to bring in the ideas of the future Aquarian Age, energies and traits, and to move past the ideas, methods and types of the Piscean Age. Our battle is to stay on the Path, to have compassion, to develop the intuition as a means of seeing with the eyes of the soul, and to walk the lighted Way. The bar is high but the reach gives strength. Light can be measured in terms of a wave or a particle, and so it is with the way of lighted wisdom: it comes to us as both narrative and symbol, in story and art.

Meditation on symbols is a recommended way to develop intuition, a prerequisite for using intuition as a way to see the path ahead with clarity, and to serve the plan of love and light. The eagle, the major symbol of Scorpio, is one of the four points on the fixed cross of the zodiac, as we know. This symbol so often appears from ancient and Medieval art and architecture, to the Renaissance and beyond that it makes a powerful symbol for linking back to the thread of ideas, truths, values and qualities of character that join us from age to age and generation to generation. It is associated with the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and their narratives in the Gospels as Taurus the Bull, Leo the Lion, Scorpio the Eagle and Aquarius the Water-Carrier; called the "cross of discipleship" in Bailey. The Christ is most often shown in the center as emanating from or descending into the field of the Evangelists either as the Savior, or as divine Anthropos, the first, original and primordial man. This cross of four constellations appears in many forms and traditions beside the Christian, and the even-armed cross is universal. The center in the circle squared is a common mandala of wholeness in the art of most cultures. Carl Jung gives examples of the Anthropos depicted in the center of the fixed, even-armed cross as Mercurius, Nous, Adam Kadmon, Anima Mundi, Monad, and as Metatron in the Zohar. Because "the four principles or elements or psychic qualities, express completeness and union" the "mandala has the status of a 'uniting symbol'" (Psychology and Religion: East and West, p. 79). Jung writes that "The 'going out' of the souls from the Primordial Man can be understood as the projection of a psychic integration process: the saving wholeness of the inner man-i.e.,the 'Messiah'--cannot come about until all parts of the psyche have been made conscious", which explains why it takes so long (Mysterium Conijuctionis, p.414). "Thus the archetype of Man, the Anthropos, is constellated and forms the essential core of the great religions." In this idea the "Above and Below of creation are reunited " (p. 420). Here, then, in one ray of light we have a symbol, the fixed cross, and the narrative of the soul's journey, becoming universal in the even-armed cross and mandalic symbol of psychic completeness which form the basis of great world religions. The beautiful Buddhist ritual and art form of creating sand mandalas representing the universe of all energy has become famous the world around. In the geometric form of the Triangle mantra, "I, the Triangle divine, work out that will within the square and serve my fellowmen" we experience the wave of action within the particular symbol.

One of the leading battles in the world today is the increasing trend toward authoritarianism. The Tibetan, for whom Alice Bailey wrote, points out that dependence upon authority is a Piscean ideal whose final fading out represents the ending of the Piscean age. Of the four principal Piscean ideas molding ideals, the imposition of authority is number one, followed by the value of pain (now overdone and overemphasized), self-sacrifice, and satisfaction of desire, resulting in overemphasis on commercialism and consumerism. The emphasis on authority "has led to the imposition of the different forms of paternalism upon the race-political, educational, social and religious paternalism" and to 'the sacrifice of the individual or group of individuals.' Finally, the stimulation of desire has resulted in "the aggressive taking of that which is desired…and distinguishes the attitude of nations and of races as well as individuals. Aggression in order to possess has been the keynote of our civilization." (Education in the New Age, pp.119-121).

John Dean, Nixon's legal counsel who showed great courage in the line of fire during the Watergate coverup, has explored the alarming rise in authoritarianism in his new book Conservatives Without Conscience, a compelling compilation of political and behavioral insights into authoritarian types and methods. In it is quoted the famous social research of Stanley Milgram, in which obedience to authority and its effects on conscience were tested. Milgram's experiment found that 65% loosened their inhibitions of conscience and were willing to administer electric shock, some to a fatal degree (faked), to see if punishment would increase another's ability to learn. They did so simply because they were asked by an authority figure, a social scientist in a lab jacket, to do so in cooperation with others. Conscience, which normally prevents one from harming another, became unfettered. They were not normally cruel but were motivated simply by the desire to live up to the expectations of the authority figure. This is how little it takes to make the descent into brutality: the simple act of joining with others in setting aside your conscience in obedience to authorities or their policies.

Profiles of both authoritarian leaders and authoritarian followers were drawn from Bob Altemeyer's award-winning essay "Authoritarian Aggression." Some of the negative traits of authoritarian leaders are: dishonest, amoral, intimidating and bullying, vengeful, cheats to win, mean-spirited, opposes equality. Some of the negative traits of authoritarian followers are: mean-spirited, intolerant, narrow-minded, bullying, severely punitive, submissive to authority, and aggressive on behalf of authority. Those who scored high on both tests, the "Double Highs", are especially alarming. Dean points out that conservatives with consciousness "have a low authoritarian personality with few negative traits," and they also reject government secrecy and oppose elitism.

Although many have been saying lately, "It's all ego;" the more accurate truth might be, "It's all superego." Some have gotten rid of theirs. Nor are authoritarian personality types restricted to one political persuasion or to one gender. Bullies and bullying are on the increase in politics and out, as well as relaxed standards in the areas of civil liberties (torture and electronic surveillance of citizens), and an increase in hedonism. Today the areas of aggressive abusiveness are so widespread that we are forced to take another look at the power structure and what types we have given control to. Indeed, the theme of the Fall Symposium of Lucis Trust Nov. 18 is "The Creative Power of Disillusionment." One humorist summed up the trend this way, 'We must rise above our principles!' And presumably, our consciences as well.

The incoming Aquarian ideas and types will not allow authoritarian types to gain control, the Tibetan predicts. Consciousness of universality, brotherhood based upon equality instead of paternalism, subjective integration resulting from self-realization, and the experience of world and earth unity will replace "the Piscean or Christian Age." It is safe to say that the reference here is to all three Abrahamic religions, all having paternalistic roots. A synthesis of endeavor will result and a truer sense of values growing from a new sense of synthesis experienced by many. It is to this that we look as meditators and to this that we offer both our experience and our energy as we work together in meditation. We help build and energize the thoughtforms of freedom, brotherhood, inclusiveness, and equality.

In the myth of Hercules, the hero encounters the Hydra-headed monster, whose many heads keep growing back. Recently, the War on Terror has been called "the Hydra Challenge." Lucis Trust recommends that, "Like Hercules, we find the need to lift the threats we face out of the realm of fear and confusion and into the clear light and air of the mental plane where the energies of fusion are available to defeat them. "

In terms of astronomy, there are few constellations more beautiful than the constellation of Scorpio, brilliant in the summer sky, huge and easy to find, with a shape like a scorpion with its curved tail or like a kite soaring upward with curving tail. It is easy to identify. Ancient astrologers knew it as the "baleful source of war and discord, the birthplace of the planet Mars, and so the House of Mars, like today. The brilliant red star in the center is Antares, like Ares, another name for Mars. This is according to tradition, symbol and tendency, a good place to meditate on our keynote highlighting the battle from different points of view. The Scorpion brought down the giant hunter Orion, the equally brilliant and easy to identify constellation in the winter sky. Together these two symbols of the mighty hunter and his downfall circulate around the earth, rising and falling, in a great cosmic drama.

 
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