Universal Values for a New Age
Joann S. Bakula
Much has been written about the Great Year or Platonic Year of 25,000 years ending and beginning again in the Mayan calendar in 2012. Much has also been written about the coming age of Aquarius, about geologic time, and the vast evolutionary time of HP Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, which places humanity roughly halfway through the present life wave of 7 chains, each with 7 rounds and 7 races. In this extraordinary creation and completion story, we are said to be in the 4th round of the fourth chain, the 5th subrace of the 5th root race, and the beginning of the 6th sub race. In this great Plan, said to be known since the beginning of time, we are at the lowest descent of spirit into matter, and the beginning of the re-ascent of spirit to its source, enlightening matter as it goes. All of these measurements of time and records of cycles stand as background to our present and future. Like the sight of the Grand Canyon, they serve to resize our problems and adjust our perspective. In the presence of vastness, what is important tends to be those things which are permanent, like character and integrity for an individual. After time has washed away the bodies, buildings, relationships and jobs of a lifetime, what remains is the essence of who we are as spiritual beings in human form.
Each age is associated with the approximately 2,400 year cycle of the sun as it appears to pass through the constellations of the zodiac. Now it approaches the constellation of Aquarius, the 11th house of the zodiac, bringing with it the age of Aquarius, known for its universality. Universality is also naturally associated with this meditation of Aquarius, and with the intuition itself, the latent faculty within us all that perceives universals. What's new in our era is the increasing dominance of universal values as the standard for judgment. The United Nations and the United States have both recently stressed the importance of universal values, including accountability. Peace, freedom, social progress, human rights, justice, and human responsibilities all lead the list of what is universally valued.
The Promise of Aquarius
As humans we share the equality of universal values; as individuals we often choose to put cultural values, class values or party values as the first focus. We are both personalities and souls, with individual lives and lives on this one earth. In this meditation done once a month as world service at the time of the full moon, the entire focus is on the universal values shared by the human family and affecting many other lives in the web of life. What daily meditation is used and what tradition is followed does not matter. Organizations with web sites offering interfaith meditation instruction and study are listed at the end of this article. Pablo Sender has sketched five different methods for daily meditation (on-line at Quest magazine of the Theosophical Society, Winter 2011, and also on the web site dyzantheosophy.org): 1. meditation on spiritual concepts, 2. meditation on virtues, 3. meditation on the One Life, 4. meditation on a divine Being, 5. meditation on the subtle bodies and beyond.
All religious traditions use meditation or contemplation in one form or another. The Tibetan Buddhist Kalachakra meditation, associated with Shambhala, is always held at the full moon. Many of these groups or their members meditate monthly at the time of full moon as a special service. Some have held public meditation meetings for many years in New York, California, London and Geneva, and many other places. This monthly planetary meditation is done as the awakening human family, joining in the triangle of planetary centers: mind (humanity), heart (Hierarchy) and Will (Shamballa, Father's House, Will of God, or planetary nucleus). This is a time when many traditions may join together for the planet's sake on themes that link macrocosm and microcosm, the whole and the individual. This meditation belongs to no one group but is an expression of what is already occurring subjectively in the minds, hearts and actions of all who care for the planet and who know that spiritual thought and intuitive understanding must infuse our plans and policies if we are to avoid the harmful effects of selfish and ill-conceived policies of the past and present. "Intuition is a comprehensive grip of the principle of universality," Bailey writes (Glamour: A World Problem, p. 3) and the principle that cuts through the sense of separateness, for a moment at least. Meditators are aware of the feeling, the concept, the idea and the experience — all registered in different ways from different planes of being. Intuition is universal love for all sentient beings and total identification with the one life within all forms. "Then is true compassion known; then does criticism become impossible" (ibid). Intuition is the one faculty that gives us direct perception, unclouded by false assumptions, mis-knowledge, short-sightedness, and the conditioning delusions of a time.
The meditator and disciple of the emerging new time faces a higher bar of love, wisdom and intelligence than ever before, but most of all what is required is an established relationship to the Spiritual Triad of atma-buddhi-manas so that both something of the intuition (buddhi) and the spiritual will (atman) may be functioning. In this way meditators help to open relationship of humanity to the Will center of the planet. Will "is fundamentally an expression of the Law of Sacrifice;" Bailey writes, "under this law, the unit recognizes responsibility, identifies itself with the whole, and learns the esoteric significance of the words: 'Having nothing (sacrifice) and yet possessing all things (universality)." This is the difference between goodwill and the will-to-good, an energy that relates to the Will center or the innermost center of the life-quality-appearance pattern of form, whether macrocosmic or microcosmic. "This distinction is very real, for one quality grows out of love, and the other out of recognition of the universality of life", one from the soul and other from the spirit. The Plan of love and light favors no one, save those who are able to think, plan and take action for the good of the whole, without bias. "The full expression of these highest spiritual qualities … comes after the fourth initiation , that of the Great Renunciation. Everything is then relinquished in order that everything may be held in trust and used for the good of all; the will-to-good then dominates" (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II, p. 270). Few is the number of those who are at this stage of evolution, and far ahead is the full flowering of universality. "The time when humanity will be able to think in universal terms still lies far ahead but the fact that we can speak of it, desire it and plan for it" (Bailey, Problems of Humanity, p. 64) is an indicator that union, yoga or enlightenment through identification with the whole is the right direction, no matter how long and difficult the road.
Seen in this view the present looks very promising: universality is becoming widely recognized by intelligent people as the only sustainable attitude of our global society.The theme of universal values is becoming popular. In response to the self-destructive wars of the 20th c, the will to unite manifested in the United Nations, whose agencies and yearly themes of focus all demand an inclusive and wholistic approach. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recently proposed an "action agenda" of 5 areas to concentrate on in his new term. These are sustainable development; preventing and mitigating conflicts, human rights abuses and the impacts of natural disasters; building a safer and more secure world; supporting countries in transition; and working to engage the talents of women and young people. The re-adjustment and reorganization of social values around the world to protect the inherent rights, worth and dignity of every human being, the universal human, is underway.
The Problem of Orwell
Along with promising signs of the age of universality in Aquarius, we have the disturbing signs of the Orwellian era of our time. George Orwell saw clearly in his books, 1984 (and Animal Farm), what would result if one trajectory after WWII was taken. It would be an age of suspicion, universal spying, perpetual war, ritual hate, double speak, and propaganda. State use and tight control of news and slander was universal, and reminiscent of Goebbles, the sinister propaganda meister of WWII. To what extent are we also bringing in the Orwellian nightmare by refusing to take a stand against these wrong methods? Three quarters of people polled now believe that we are going in the wrong direction. Civil liberties are being eroded, war is becoming perpetual, spy devices are available to anyone and habitually used by powerful groups, corporations control the media, hate has infected the Congress, lies abound. Instead of control of self and freedom for others, many take for granted a policy of freedom for self and control of others! How will history view us, as the generations who brought in the age of Aquarian universality or the age of Orwell? Or both?
From the actual to the real is the path of meditation. From where we are in the particular distortions and mis-direction of our time to the ageless wisdom of meditation on the Real and as Real we serve in Aquarian world service. Greeting the divinity or God nature, the ground Reality in all, we rise above fear and the widespread distrust of the times as we form an integrated meditating group sure of the ultimate victory of the forces of light as enlightenment and love as the brotherhood of a free and just humanity.
Joann S. Bakula
February 3, 2012
Organizations on-line offering Meditation Instruction
Agni Yoga Society
Association for Research and Enlightenment
Philosophical Research Society
School for Esoteric Studies
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Theosophical University, Pasadena, CA
University of the Seven Rays
Center for Visionary Leadership
White Mountain Education Association