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Invocation for the Common Good

Jan Nation
June 2008

Jan (Janet) Nation died in Capricorn 2001. She delivered the following paper on World Invocation Day, June 1, 1996 as part of the Arcane School Conference, London

Since 1952 World Invocation Day has been observed on the Gemini Festival by increasing numbers of people of different languages, cultures, religions and backgrounds. They will have come across the Great Invocation, been attracted to it, heard in some way of this special day each year, and decided to participate.

Most who use the Great Invocation on this Day will consider it a simple yet profound prayer for help from the Divine for the human family and the Earth. Those who join in this world-wide appeal from an esoteric perspective, who consciously seek to live as light-bearers, will be far fewer in number. However their contribution is magnified by the way in which they more knowingly visualise the flow of light, love and power; by the way they more knowingly register evidence of response from the higher kingdoms; and by the way they more knowingly realise the implications of the changes called for.

On the outer side of life today seems an ordinary day, but we know it as one of the sacred days on the calendar of humanity's subjective life. In this world-wide day of invocation we are focusing the aspiration of humanity, lifting human longing for world renewal into the inner Ashram of the Christ. Can we register the universal quiet that resonates from that inner heart centre? Can we sense the pulse of the Great Invocation ceaselessly conditioning the subtle atmosphere, as it is sounded by groups and individuals in every part of the world? And let us now join this global invocation by sounding the Great Invocation together. Not loudly, rushed and out of step with each other, but in unison, and with "deliberation" and "full commitment to its meaning". Let us visualise the energies that flow as we voice the words: in the mind's eye see light pouring into human consciousness, see love radiating through the aura of humanity and affirm the way that the will-to-good strengthens human resolve to live by higher values.

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men —
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

We are always invoking reaction and response from our environment in some way or other, and likewise reacting or responding to what we sense is asked of us. If we could stand back and watch this interplay of forces throughout the human family we know that much of it will be seen to be on lower astral levels — as so many universal symbols of our twentieth-century materialistic civilisation demonstrate. In a recent large scale survey the symbols most widely recognised by those interviewed were the logos for McDonalds and Shell petrol. These two logos were more universally recognised than the symbol of the Christian cross. For the first time a single message was broadcast simultaneously in every inhabited part of the globe in January 1992. What was that message — was it something of value? No, it was "Drink Coke".

As they swirl around in the turbulent waters of humanity's emotional life, selfish desires have a disastrous impact on human affairs and the environment. There is a constant and powerful astral invocation, a frenzy of desire for things, pleasures and comforts which represents the perverted image of the human being as the "consumer" chasing a parody of the Holy Grail in the form of material security.

However something truly wonderful is happening in this same time and space in which so many precious concepts are debased and in which it is not surprising that the first "global message" can be something like "Drink Coke". In this same time and space a spiritual awakening is taking place in humankind which manifests in a powerful new invocative spiritual force. This appeal which rises from the awakening human heart is quite new in its selflessness and in its universality. It is a heartfelt longing for human beings to be able to live in harmony with each other. It brings intense longing for release from the pain that comes as we bear witness to the inequities and suffering not only in our human family, but also in the animal kingdom and in the destruction of the natural world. It is the longing for something better than the tyranny of the marketplace and the mediocrity of role models that a materialistic society holds up for us to emulate; the longing for spiritual vision to fill the vacuum that we sense behind the glamours that tantalise the senses; the longing to know our place in the universe, to find new heroes and new stories to live by.

In essence (even though it is mostly not expressed in these terms) it is a longing for the birth of the Christ in the human heart; a longing for spiritual vision to direct the human mind, and a longing for the return of the World Teacher. This heartfelt, passionate, fiery aspiration continually rises from the hearts and minds of millions of people of goodwill. On World Invocation Day worldwide use of the Great Invocation focuses and then projects this longing into the highest levels of awareness open to the human server.

It helps in this task if we know something of the science of invocation. It helps if we know how to ask in the right way, from the right place in our consciousness, and this necessarily involves being clear about what it is we're asking for. And it helps that we understand something of right timing - why is it this day in particular that best suits such a selfless, pure and potent invocation? Of course there are other insights that will increase the effectiveness of our service on World Invocation Day, but these are particularly useful.

So let's touch briefly on the first: the science of invocation. Most prayers and meditation practices are self-referencing. We ask for what will make our lives better, or we meditate for greater inner peace and control. The one who asks is at the centre of the process. The invocative method which the Tibetan advocates unites universal need with the highest of spiritual energies without the personal self intruding. The constriction of the personal 'I' consciousness doesn't limit the response to the appeal. If the personal self is not the mediating point then the bridge being built between need and abundance is open to allow potent energies to flow.

The second point: how do we ask in the right way? The esotericist knows that the essence of invocation is to recognise need and meet it. These two elements must go hand-in-hand. Only when we identify with the real and urgent needs of both our brothers and sisters in the human family, and the needs of the world, does our appeal have the fire that can burn through all obstructions. Identity is a key word. In every area of real need human beings struggle to cope. We, the human family, are one. We are one heart and one mind. We are all affected by the utter despair, the courage, the fears, the creativity and the persistent effort of those who face adversity. Identity doesn't mean that we are swamped by human and world problems, it means that we are centred in the experience of oneness with the human family and its struggles, joys and sorrows.

I'm sure we will each have particular areas of need that speak more immediately to us, and through which we have undergone this transforming experience of true empathy. Let's bring that experience into our group awareness now and hold it in mind as we approach our work in meditation in a few minutes time. Let's sense the commonality of the human struggle for spiritual liberation, our shared capacity for joy, warmth, friendship. Let's sense the depth of human experience in the fight for freedom from poverty, whether it be poverty of soul or the poverty of those who do not have the basics of adequate housing, water, food education and health care. Our appeal must have this quality of empathy, this heart fire.

To ask in the right way we also need to know what it is we are asking for. What does it mean to call for love, light and power in this way? From a spiritual perspective we are invoking energies that are transforming the human experience of life. We are invoking the light of new vision and clear thought, knowing this light will dissipate glamours that so many of our human family cherish and cling to We are calling for love, the greatest power of the universe, to dissolve barriers and open the human heart. What changes will this bring? They won't be comfortable. The heart will call us to grow in ways that might seem almost too selfless to bear. It won't be easy to adjust our lifestyles worldwide to the way the awakening heart demands human justice, fair play and harmony with the natural world.

We are calling for the spiritual will to deepen the capacity for sacrifice and purposeful right action in the very character of the human family. Invocation is essentially transformative. To be invocative we have to be experiencing transformation ourselves. The effectiveness of our invocation depends on what we bring to the asking. Remember that the essence of invocation is to recognise need and meet it. Your life isn't invocative if you're observing the world, and recognising problems with clarity but doing nothing to help solve them. It is invocative when you are so moved by what you see that nothing can stop you from accepting the challenges of the spiritual path as it opens before you. It is invocative when the spiritual will empowers the heart recognitions that sustain a life of service.

Part of 'asking in the right way' relates to acceptance of responsibility for the reply. Are we prepared to be fully involved in the response? Humanity's invocation to the higher kingdoms at this time of planetary transformation is becoming clear and strong as more people of goodwill step onto the spiritual path. We are learning how to centre our consciousness in the light of the soul and project our invocation from that still, true centre. And any such request, centred in the light of the soul, will evoke powerful response. Are we ready for that? Are we willing to transform ourselves so that more of the quality of the Plan manifests through and in us?

The tests and trials of Hercules offer many insights on how to be an effective server. Before he embarked on his labours, Hercules faced his Teacher who asked his name. Hercules replied that he had been told his name meant "the radiance and effulgence of the soul" but that he did not know what was meant by "the soul?". The Teacher replied: "That soul of yours, you shall discover as you do your task, and find and use the nature which is yours." That is how we discover the soul — by serving, by applying ourselves to the responsibilities we choose to meet as we creatively, and with our own free-will, shape our path of service. We discover the soul, our true nature, as its powers are drawn forth from within ourselves — as we push ourselves beyond the limits of personality skills and talents; as we forget ourselves in the meeting of the needs of others. With more and more human beings now taking up this challenge and discovering their true nature, humanity's invocation to the Great Ones is increasingly sounded with the voice of the soul.

Right timing — why is World Invocation Day celebrated in the light of Gemini? This Festival of Gemini is also known by many other names: the Festival of Goodwill, the Festival of the Christ, the Festival of Unification, the Festival of Humanity. It has been described as "Christ's Unique Occasion". All of these names hint at a day of unusual closeness between humanity and the Avatar of Love, the Christ. On this Festival, we are told, for two thousand years the Christ has stood before the Hierarchy and Shamballa as the representative of humanity. Now, as "Leader of the New Group of World Servers" he uses the Great Invocation on behalf of the group, gathering up "the inchoate and unexpressed demands" of every human being who seeks "a new and better way of life".

In the long process of the evolution of consciousness on Earth the inner spiritual rhythms that relate the different kingdoms will have been shaped to a significant extent by the conditioning qualities of the great Beings Who make up our planetary zodiac. The gifts of Gemini indicate why it is over this full moon period that the energies released at the high point of the spiritual year are precipitated into human consciousness. These gifts also indicate why the Gemini Festival is so "uniquely Christ's", for the "underlying love of Deity reaches our solar system primarily through Gemini". Gemini, the Great Bear and the Pleiades form the triangle of the Cosmic Christ. And it is the Gemini force "which produces the changes needed for the evolution of the Christ consciousness at any particular point in time and space". It is, we are told, "always compatible to the requirement".

Today on this Festival of Gemini we join in using the Great Invocation, Christ's own mantram. On the inner side of life the invocation will be used with constancy, exactitude and power by the assembled spiritual Hierarchy of love and light. There is, on this day, an open pathway of love from the Lodge on Sirius, through Gemini, into our planetary aura. The call to the Divine that is made on World Invocation Day carries over across this open pathway and the energies blessed by the Lord Buddha at Wesak flow in response, precipitating into human consciousness as goodwill and love.

In the Alice Bailey teachings we are urged to the fullest possible participation in the Festivals of Wesak and Gemini. We are asked to make these weeks a time of special consecrated service, to "seek to 'dwell ever at the centre', to endeavour to blend the cold light of [our] personalities with the clear light of [our] soul" over this period when the earth is blessed by the Great Ones.

As it is observed by the Hierarchy, this festival covers a three day period followed by a final fourth climaxing day. Each of the three days is characterised by a different keynote. The first day has the keynote of love — a pure impersonal love. The second day has the keynote of resurrection focusing on "the new note of livingness, of the living Christ". The third day has the keynote of contact, reflecting the closer relationship between the Christ, humanity and the Hierarchy. Those who are interested in the work of Triangles, the New Group of World Servers and the Goodwill movement participate in a particular way. We might care to do the same. When the first stanza is sounded the Triangles work is held in mind. When the second stanza is sounded the focus is on the millions of people who make up the New Group of World Servers — all in our human family who are doing their best to meet real need in some area or other. During the third stanza the Goodwill movement, in its rich diversity, receives attention.

As we now get ready to work together in meditation can we assume a confident attitude that affirms the truth that the invocation humanity makes today for Divine aid — for spiritual vision, for recognition of the sacred that exists in the everyday circumstances of life, for the recognition of God's Plan and humanity's part in it — that this invocation will be heard.

We are urged to take part in this Gemini Festival with "a full play of the imagination". In the mind's eye see humanity as the world disciple. Vision the energy flow of the Great Invocation interacting with all the human units of light who use or see or hear the Invocation over the Festival period in every part of the world, releasing love, light and the power of the will-to-good into the consciousness of the whole human family.

Imagine the Festival on the inner side of life and as the Tibetan described it: where "standing in His Own Place at a central point in Asia, remote from the throngs and the impact of humanity, Christ will bless the world at the exact moment of the [Gemini] full moon." He then repeats the Buddha's last sermon, the Beatitudes and the Great Invocation.

This is how the Tibetan concluded his comments on the Gemini Festival in 1946: "That He Whom we serve may be nearer to all of us than ever before, that the work of establishing right human relations may proceed apace, and that light and love may stream forth from Shamballa and the Hierarchy over all of you who love your fellowmen is the earnest wish, accompanied by my blessing, for you at this season of the will-to-good."