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Initiation, Extremes and Turning Points

From the writings of the late Jan Nation
December 2007

Jan Nation died in Capricorn 2001. The following paper contains excerpts from a talk she gave for the Capricorn Festival at the Lucis Trust Meditation Meeting in London in 1980

May we begin with a moment of silence and recollect the significance of our work in consciousness? Let us link in thought with the world-wide network of all who are participating with us in strengthening the channel of love and light between the spiritual hierarchy and humanity.

May the Power of the one Life pour through the group of all true servers
May the Love of the one Soul characterise the lives of all who seek to aid the Great Ones
May we fulfill our part in the one Work through self- forgetfulness, harmlessness and right speech.

As the full moon occurs at the beginning of the Christmas week this year the energies of Capricorn will augment and strengthen the potency of the Christmas blessing, "peace on earth, goodwill to all men". Each year during this week the subjective atmosphere of the planet is charged with goodwill and the spirit of rejoicing.…

In the northern hemisphere Christmas occurs near the winter solstice, reflecting the esoteric tradition that sun gods or world saviours are born in the darkest hour; that they come to bring light into the world. The polarity of darkness and light is central to the Christmas story. It was in the darkness of the decadent days that marked the collapse of the Roman Empire that a new spiritual dispensation was evoked. It was then that the Christian teachings were given to redirect humanity towards the Plan. That the birth of this cycle should he celebrated in Capricorn is indicative of its character as a sign of darkness and of light, of conclusions and of new beginnings.

The Tibetan states that Capricorn is the most difficult of the twelve zodiacal constellations for us to understand - the most mysterious. Perhaps this explains why humility characterises its higher expression. Capricorn rules the knees, the symbol of humility. It is only when the disciple's approach is with an open and lighted heart and mind, as a humble server of the Plan, that the secrets of this majestic sign can be revealed. For Capricorn is the sign of initiation. Within its influence the third initiation, known as the transfiguration, is undergone. And from the perspective of the Hierarchy the Transfiguration is the first of the major initiations because it marks the entry of the disciple into membership of the spiritual kingdom. This is the mountain top experience in which, elevated and alone, the disciple experiences "the secret of the hidden glory of the soul". It symbolizes the pinnacle of earthly achievement while the long and difficult struggle to reach the summit is the ultimate human test of spiritual fortitude. With caution, concentration and courage the disciple finds his way towards the mountain top using every reserve Of skill and strength.

The mountain top experience is, in essence, the mystery of the triumph of the Christ life over the world of form. It reveals the living vision of the Plan. All mountain top experiences, whether that of Moses or contemporary examples such as that of Martin Luther King, who went to the mountain top and saw the 'promised land', refer to this sign. From the heights the initiate proceeds upon the spiritual path to become a world server in Aquarius and a world saviour in Pisces. From the mountain top, with fully conscious willed intent, the disciple descends into the world to serve.

One of the most distinctive effects of Capricorn upon our consciousness is to do with the experience of extremes. The heights and depths of human capabilities are reached within its influence and under the stimulation of its power. This is clearly indicated in the keynotes of the sign. For the man or woman in whom the personality desires are developed and dominating the keynote is: "And the word said let ambition rule and the door stand open wide". Such a life is dedicated to the acquisition of power, prestige and personal gain - the fulfilling of calculated, cold ambitiono Separateness and egotism bind the personality to the world of form. On the wheel of personality desires, Capricorn becomes the sign of the bondage of materialism.

The reverse is true of the path of discipleship and initiation. In the early stages of the path the disciple may still work with a degree of self-centred ambition but once the mountain top is neared the awakening soul begins the work of transfiguration. The impelling force of blind ambition is no longer present or needed. Rather the final steps are taken in the safety of the light of initiation and with the inner strength and direction of the soul. The beautiful keynote of the soul in Capricorn speaks clearly of the ultimate triumph of the human personality and its release into new dimensions of being. "Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back." Capricorn becomes the sign of the death of materialism and the liberation into soul-controlled service. It makes possible the end of the ancient power that form has wielded over spiritual aspiration leaving the disciple free to incarnate and serve as best meets ashramic need.

The height of the mountain top and the depths of personality darkness are both extremes beyond which human consciousness cannot pass. They represent symbolically the boundaries of possible human experience and as both are reached in Capricorn it is known as a sign of conclusion and of crystallisation.

Yet nothing stands still in our universe, everything is evolving. The point of extreme becomes, by definition, a turning point or a place of a new direction for future endeavour. The man or woman, or the group, who reaches the limit of personality ambition has nowhere then to turn but back on the spiral towards the "centre of all love".The initiate lost in the "light supernal" of the radiant vision of the mountain top is compelled, through his identification with the vision, to cooperate in its manifestation. He therefore descends figuratively in to the plains or valleys of the earth to serve the Plan - "yet on that light I turn my back".

Capricorn, then, governs the process whereby the extreme is reached. The extreme which becomes the point of reorientation and redirection. But, more than this, it conditions and stimulates the new effort that is made to move forward. In other words, Capricorn conditions the whole transition phase where one cycle ends and another begins The form, be it ideas or institutions, through which a previous cycle has reached completion proves inadequate for the evolving soul life and breaks down or is transformed by that which is new and progressive. …

In addressing the economic problem, which he cites as the most important of the factors preventing world unity, the Tibetan says "that no one group is responsible" for this problem "as certain fanatical ideologists might lead the ignorant to suppose. Our period is simply one in which human selfishness has come to its climax and must either destroy humanity or be brought intelligently to an end". This is the essential crisis we face. Human greed, selfishness and materialistic desire have been allowed full reign and carried to the wildest limits that humanity can stand. The forms through which our present inequitable world conditions have evolved are being judged by a critical and informed world forum and found sadly wanting.

While the form of the old may still have the power to block innovation and stifle programmes of change, ultimate rejection of the old pattern is inevitable. It has no longer a viable moral and spiritual foundation. A new morality based on our recognised interdependence and our common humanity now channels the spiritual energies that will vitalise the superstructure of the new world society. And these spiritual energies manifest in outer form wherever they are allowed expression through the thoughts, words and actions of the men and women of vision in every field and in all countries.

The Tibetan states that "the sign of initiation hovers over our planet this century". Another way of expressing the same idea is to recognise the subjective cause of the battle we face between old and new as being the outer effect of the confrontation between personality and soul objectives and values. Whether it is the crisis of the initiation of the birth of the Christ in the heart, resulting in an orientation towards the spiritual life, the baptism with subsequent control of the emotional nature or the transfiguration with its triumph of soul control of the personality, humanity, the world disciple, is today being tested in every way. "In this particular world cycle it is Capricorn which is producing the moment of crisis - a crisis of initiation plus a crisis of destruction ..... paralleled by a crisis of mental perception..... It is this mental perception plus world participation in the "crumbling of the mountain load of karma" which heralds the vision of the new day from the top of the mountain. As part of "the moment of crisis", the twentieth century has been one in which the most profound and far reaching of new beginnings have been initiated. The new perspective is now firmly taking hold. It is almost impossible for us to asses the giant step forward that this represents for we are too closely involved with the form of our materialistic civilisation to be able to recognise the emerging Aquarian pattern with clarity. …

The planetary rulers of Capricorn are Saturn and Venus. Saturn the esoteric and exoteric ruler is extremely powerful in its influence today, applying the tests of discipleship, the tests of discrimination, choice, skill-in-action and responsibility. The third ray energy of Saturn finds higher expression in the synthesis of form making Capricorn the sign in which the form of any cycle is perfected. Venus, the source of the intelligent mind, provides the capacity for intelligent love. Under the influence of Venus it becomes possible for advanced humanity to "use the mind as the reflector of soul purpose". The fifth ray energy channeled through Venus can unfold the perception of unity and oneness, the sense of universality. This means that, in Capricorn, world servers have available the possibilities of a higher use of the mind, the ability to interpret the Plan with intelligent love and with a sense of wholeness. They can vision an integrated and synthesised form for the coming new world order and the practicality of the sign facilitates the anchoring of that vision. The world saviour, the Christ, fully realised this potential. "Christ was born in Capricorn, fulfilled the law under Saturn, initiated the era of intelligent brotherhood under Venus and is the perfect example of the Capricornian initiate who becomes the world Server in Aquarius and the world Saviour in Pisces...."

Today the challenge of correctly interpreting and channeling these spiritual energies faces the New Group of World Servers - the group disciple whose responsibility it is to prepare the way for the reappearance of the Christ and the externalisation of the ashrams of the hierarchy. As the vanguard, or forerunner, of the Christ, it is this planetary serving group whose task it is to balance and off-set the negative forces in the world. to heal c1eav~ges and to make aspiration towards practical and effective brotherhood the keynote of humanity~ approach to Aquarius. The New Group of World Servers is composed of all men and women throughout the world in whom the spiritual capacity to respond to the new perspective and vision of the one humanity and the one life is alive and finds expression. An inner subjective unity links all who form this group of dedicated servers. Althouqh the subjective bond may be quite unrecognised by many who belong to this group, it is none-the-less a real and conditioning factor in their life. All men and women of goodwill actively involved in service belong to the outer sphere of the group while the disciples of the world are those who form its living link with the hierarchy.

The Tibetan writes at length about the group, stating that the most important aspects of his work with Alice Bailey were to present two statements of spiritual fact. These were the announcement of the existence of the New Group of World Servers as an effective group of workers linking the spiritual hierarchy and humanity and the statement in connection with the reappearance of the Christ and the needed work of preparation for that reappearance. The Tibetan states that all else in his Teaching is of secondary importance to the bringing of these two major ideas to the attention of humanity everywhere.

The group represents, in essence, an attitude of mind. It has no outer organisation, no dogma, no leader but instead is a network bonded by mutual understanding, similarity of motives and shared ideals and values. These world servers are characterised by the sense of synthesis; of internationalism, of inclusiveness, tolerance, and by a deep commitment to the "creed of brotherhood". They represent the middle way that transcends Left and Right by its allegiance to the greater all-embracing vision of the new world society, the manifesting Plan. These world servers are destined to "supersede all churches, all groups, and all organisations and will eventually constitute that oligarchy of elect souls who will govern and guide the world". …

We are told that it is only through the New Group of World Servers that the hierarchy is anchoring the preparation for the new world order. The responsibilities of the group are therefore great. So, as we now reflect upon the work of this world-wide network of servers, let us relate or thoughts to the particular opportunities offered by the energies of Capricorn, knowing that each sign makes available a unique contribution in energy to the work of world service. And indeed as we explore the relation of the New Group of World Servers to this sign we can see that Capricorn does have a most important role to play.

We have already considered how Capricorn provides those conditions in which a new incentive or a new beginning becomes possible, and how it is the sign in which the vision of the Plan is experienced from the mountain top of initiation. It holds potential liberation from materialism, and offers the aptitude for intelligent brotherhood and for the perfect expression of form. All these spiritual capacities are central to the objectives and goals of this integrating group. If vision is to be held before humanity, and if the alternative to materialism is to be magnetic, attractive and intelligible to the peoples of the world, at the heart of the New Group of World Servers there will be disciples who have faced the trial of ascent to the mountain top. If the opportunities of our present transition period, with the completion of the Piscean cycle and the beginning of the Aquarian cycle, are to be rightly directed towards world reconstruction, then the energies of Capricorn must be channelled into soul-controlled outer expression.

For the New Group of World Servers to fulfill their mission as forerunners of the Christ, vision and inner alignment are of vital importance. In relation to this the Tibetan comments that the group must "keep such a close link with the soul of humanity through their own organised soul activity that there will always he those who can 'work in the interludes' and so keep the plan progressing and the vision before the eyes of those who cannot as yet themselves enter into the high and secret place". The group, he states, "constitute the door, speaking symbolically and they must keep the path open and the way clear of obstructions.

Capricorn is known as the gate to the higher kingdom of the spiritual Hierarchy, the way to the "high and secret place". Its relation to this esoteric role of the group is therefore clearly .very significant. And the function of inner alignment. of keeping "the path open and the way clear of obstructions", is also directly relevant to the potent service work of all who meditate at the full moon. As an integral part of the New Group of World Servers we can see our work each month as co-operating in the opening of the door, the gateway, between humanity and the higher kingdoms in nature. In meditation we then channel the energies of light, love and power outwards into the consciousness of humanity.