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Victories in the School of Human Life

Joann S. Bakula
October 2007


The seed thought used in the Bailey books is, Warrior am I and from the battle I emerge triumphant. Of the many battles humanity is waging for itself and against itself, sometimes victory comes that signifies a turning point. Such a victory is humanity's recognition of its effect upon the environment. The 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded jointly to Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which spent two decades accumulating scientific reports connecting human activities and global warming. Al Gore has called global warming and the climate crisis a "moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." He's challenging humanity to change its perspective, and consequently its behavior. The UN's emphasis this year on the planetary themes of the Polar regions and the Heliophysical Year lift our view and widen our perspective to the larger world in which we live and the effects of our living in it. This perspective of detachment from the self-interested mind of daily and national life to the wide angle or Space Station perspective that sees a wider view or from above, affords us the view of the world as small and whole, and puts us closer to a more inclusive view. Indeed detachment and dispassion are two similar results on the spiritual path which lead to God-immanent, the indispensable correlate to God-transcendent. This is the view that leads to victory.

The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Laureate himself, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for tireless efforts for peace, non-violence, human rights, and religious understanding. He is an example of living peace. "Lovingkindness as practice is peace", the Buddha said. Both the Dalai Lama and Al Gore served as or near heads of government and now work at a higher level, speaking to all of humankind with a sense of universality, exemplars of those who serve the world with intelligent minds, merging love and reason. In terms of higher human development, can we call these two forerunners of the Initiate stage? Can we see victory in the lives and methods of these two figures? Are they not models of both a redirected life and of methods appropriate to the Initiate stage, tests the Tibetan associates with Scorpio and the 3rd initiation. (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, 206-208) Both awaken perception to a larger view, both care about more than just humankind, they care for all lifeforms, both use non-violent and scientific methodology to approach problems, a characteristic of Initiate work, both encourage the sense of universal responsibility for the world in others. The tests of reorientation or seeing the sacred, and the later tests of methods, are the signposts of victory on the Way.

In Indo-Buddhist psychology/philosophy there are two basic kinds of illusion, refusing to see the real Self or Mind at all, seeing only the 5-fold vehicle as real. And the obstacles in the five skandas that prevent the Mind from illuminating the world. Using the perspective of jnana yoga, we may see the Heart as the sun of the individual and the source of light, as Ramana Maharshi did, and the mind as a screen that reflects that light. Then the internal and eternal God-immanent floods perception with radiant light. This view when sustained results in a life of discipleship, a meditative, or focused, life, not just period of meditation. Right view is the first of Buddha's 8-fold noble path and much has been published in recent decades explicating the importance of just what that term means at various stages or levels of mind. The Tibetan and Alice Bailey transliterated right view as right values. Without this view the lower mind can fall into watching the stream of endless impermanent fleeting images of events and people projected onto the screen of the mind in daily life, never stopping--never being able to stop-- to recognize the larger world. The mind directed outward, the concrete, plotting mind, never steps back long enough to become real. It never redirects itself inward to the source of the light that makes the screen visible, with all of its fleeting phantasmagoria. As life gets faster and faster one wonders if we aren't attempting to achieve the velocity of escape psychologically, so that the newer rhythm of planetary consciousness can transcend and transform the fight for global and individual dominance into a new way, a new view, and a new perspective.

When the view of earth as a sacred picture emerges, perception is changed forever. It is the 2nd ray energy of love/wisdom that is the most potent energy in delivering perception from the mundane to the sacred, from the transitory to the permanent. Initiates act as radii breaking through the circles or rings of life like shafts of sunlight breaking through dark clouds. The energy of the sacred nature view cuts through from the center of real power, the planet as a whole, to the people everywhere, from center to circumference, a direct line to the heart of the one life we all share.

The mythic way is to see the world as a sacred place. It's a battle of perception and a matter of changing perspective, thereby reorienting life. 'Namaste' is a Hindu greeting meaning 'I greet the divinity in you'; in this view all life is sacred and is seen in its radiance instead of in solid form. In the Christian view, the coming of the kingdom of God and the end of the world can be seen in psychological terms. Then the picture looks much different from the fundamentalist interpretation. As Campbell put it, When you see the kingdom spread out upon the earth, the old way of living in the world is annihilated. That is the end of the world. The end of the world is not an event to come, it is an event of psychological transformation, of visionary transformation. (Power of Myth, p 230). Is this the real battle of our time? Is the way of beauty, of the earth and of the life experience, equal to the way of conquer and exploit? Can our new vision of the whole earth rising in space end the old vision of nation and against nation, religion against religion, and inaugurate a new more intelligent way to live life and to live on earth? Can the mythic view, always with us as the collective unconscious, be reborn for a world culture? We can choose and work for the apocalyptic degradation of the environment, or we can choose to end the old way of exploitation of earth and its people, degrading both. Homeric brutality does not offer us a sane way through. Jesus Christ taught the way of love; which way would he choose? Buddha taught the way of compassion; which way would he choose?

Scorpio has specialized potency on the path of discipleship, preparing the disciple and groups of disciples for the first, second and third initiations. "After the third initiation, its peculiar potency is no longer felt." The interfaith way weaves the mythic, religious and secular/scientific ways into new clothes for a ragged culture. In this view three heroes passed from test to victory:

In Scorpio--Hercules became the triumphant disciple.
In Taurus--The Buddha achieved victory over desire and arrived at illumination.
In Pisces--The Christ overcame death and became the world savior.

Scorpio takes the test right down to the physical plane, and when it is faced and handled there, the life of the person is raised up to heaven, and the "problem which the test involved is solved by the use of the reasoning mind." (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, 199-204) Hence the necessity of the secular/scientific view demonstrating use of the 5th ray and understanding of what is scientific and what is not. The three tests in Scorpio are:

  1. tests of 'appetite', the animal instincts for sex, comfort and food or money, the basic needs of life that become perverted into the only goals, leading to a shallow life without meaning.
  2. astral fear, hatred and ambition. The power structure is, clearly, battling at this level.
  3. lower critical mind, what Heidegger calls the plotting, calculating mind, as opposed to the meditative mind. If you're having a hard time keeping the plotting mind from intruding into your meditation, or dominating your life, then this is the obstacle you have to battle.
It is pride, separativeness, cruelty. (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, 205) It is competition, the will-to-dominate, and the inability to sustain ashramic perception, the real group perception. Cruelty is based upon sustained negative perception, a permanent aversion engaged in, often as if it were a sacred duty. Cruelty tears apart with criticism, and tears a group apart exploiting competition and separativeness, setting families and co-workers against each other. Cruelty is "satisfaction with personality methods and...makes the mind the instrument of the sense of power", projecting fixed, unmodified negativity upon another.

The mind responsive primarily to ideas "begins its true task as an interpreter of divine truth and a transmitter of ashramic intention" (Alice Bailey, Rays and the Initiations, 688), developed through the use of the ajna center. At this point a new pathway may emerge in which extraplanetary energies may affect the full moon meditator (from SK to head and ajna centers), and be "directed outward into its destined field of service", despite ordinarily lacking conscious recognition of its presence. The sacred planets all transmit energy throughout the system, as does humanity in its environment. Blavatsky correlated the seven sacred planets with the 7 Heavenly Men, the seven Spirits before the Throne, the 7 Spirits of the Planets, the Biblical Archangels, the 7 creative Powers, the Rishis, and the collective Dhyan Chohans. "They are the veiled synthesis" (The Secret Doctrine). The names of the rays (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, 62-89) give us a key to the work. Keeping in mind the Tibetan's three directive words of integration, direction, and science, the disciple handles his/her life, environment and circumstances, directing the energy available at the full moon from ashram to field of service, all of which begin with the perception of universality. We all have the same needs, the same feelings, and the same cognitive structures (colored by different rays, though they may be). The disciple's keynote is right direction as the result of right reaction to hierarchical intention and the injunctions of his own soul.....He works then as a scientist. (Alice Bailey, Rays and the Initiations 690-692).

"In Scorpio, two most occult factors emerge from the past....one is memory and the other is, as a consequence of the memory, the Dweller on the Threshold. " Memory combined with imagination becomes a creative agent, one might call it the mythic mode, the deep unconscious memory of the whole chain of experience from ovum through tailed swimmer to emergence as primitive mind to industrial mind and beyond. The sum total of the unredeemed aspects, the collective demons of us all, unite to block humanity's way forward, and the Angel of the Presence, the "angels of our better nature," unite to face off their opposite. This appears to be the common pattern at the end of an age or epoch. The future meets the past, in a present day battle for preeminence. "Then every latent pre-disposition, every racial and national instinct, every unconquered situation and every controlling fault rises to the surface of consciousness and then--the fight is on"! (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, 206-208) Usually, war is one group of negative projections facing off against another group of negative projections. In this case, the negative projections themselves are dissipated in the radiance of reality. Short or long the length of the battle, the outcome is always the same: "The keynote of Scorpio is.... Triumph."

May the many triumphs of life's battles reveal the joy and glory of your life.