Building an Enlightened Society: Humanity's Task

Joann S. Bakula
June, 2012

The planetary meditation of June/Gemini is often called the Festival of Humanity, the Festival in which the human family is itself the focus. In it the third point of the three centers of planetary power, humanity, is itself stimulated. The center nucleus of 'atom Earth' is where Will and purpose are known (which could be thought of as the global brain's executive network); the Heart center is composed of all the enlightened beings who have brought the truths, methods of discovery, healing and compassion of all the ages. Humanity itself will one day be a fully functioning Mind center, organized and coordinated, a center just now beginning to awaken to itself as an interconnected communicating organ. In this planetary meditation of June or Gemini we visualize the energies of the Will center and the Heart center as transferring to humanity what energies it has the capacity to use.

Speaking the words that shed light on where we are going or might be going and, increasing the light of knowledge so that right choice may be made for a healthy path, is the objective part of our work together. In it all people who love humanity and who are willing to ponder deeply on its present course and greater spiritual opportunity make up the group of meditators with whom we are united: scientists, artists, business people, the religious, and all. What unites us is the direction and quality of thought, the light and its goodwill, "which is the objective expression of the subjective influence of light" (Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, p. 252).

These are some of the things we can have in mind as we keep the World Invocation Day vigil by saying the Great Invocation on the quarter hour or when ever we can throughout the day. Just speaking the words of truth in whatever version of the Great Invocation we use can contribute to the voice of humanity as an awakening center of Mind. Just reinforcing the basic universal truth that every human being born already has a mind, a heart and a will that are his or hers to use, regardless of social conditioning, is a service to humanity. Joined with the notion that the planet itself has the same structure begins to create the circulation of energy that opens the closed lotus of the human family, one petal at a time, until the full beauty of its nature reveals itself.

Groups are united by values and goals — in our case the goal of enlightenment for the individual, group, humanity and planet. As the Buddha said, those who practice dwelling in the peace of meditation are 'building a staircase to enlightenment. It can take many lifetimes and is a long-term goal, but each step must be carefully built, with precision, care, the right materials, and consideration of all the angles, because others may follow and use them; care must be taken to build safely so that no harm comes to them.' The long term goal is made up of deliberate steps, each one taken mindfully as a goal in itself, because the means are the end, and wrong method produces wrong results. The life of the Christ viewed as a series of initiations into higher and more inclusive stages of enlightenment is the same path to enlightenment, regardless of differing terminology. The birth of Christ consciousness, meaning universal consciousness; the purification or baptism into a reoriented life, the transfiguration of the personality into the radiant life of the soul, the willing sacrifice and renunciation regardless of self-interest, and the ascension of soul-infused personality to the one monadic spirit, is a 5-stepped staircase to the same enlightenment, a journey that never ends but becomes the first step on the path of Higher Evolution. This, too, is an imitation of Christ, whose work is not over.

Those of east and west who achieve enlightenment lift up the human family, which, after all, is one group.

'The life and its environment are one,' as the Buddha said, so the life of the human family and its environment, the planet, are also one. The light and goodwill generated by each achievement of enlightenment, and steps to enlightenment, help to lift the planet itself, which has its own life in the circle of the sun. Seven of the planets circling our sun are said to be sacred, of which the earth is not one, but, long-term, humanity itself will become enlightened and proficient at circulating the light and goodwill coming from Will and Heart centers. Then we, too, it is said, will become a sacred planet and a station of light and love in our part of the cosmos. 'Building the stairway to heaven' takes on new meaning when viewed this way. The life process of the whole is recapitulated in the life process of the individual. As above, so below, or, as the tantric tradition puts it 'as without, so within.'

The individual, the planet and the solar lives all come to know that they are one with their environments. Each center of the human form and the planetary form eventually opens its Mind, Heart and Crown center (or Will) to awareness of the larger whole in which it has its existence, the All of its compass. So there is no need to worry, and 'there is no need to hurry, but no time to loose,' as the saying goes. The life and lives of the Will center, the Heart center and the Mind center each come to know their environment with knowledge, recognized relationship (or love/wisdom), and finally consciously actualizing the union of all in the underlying synthesis of life, which has always been known in the Will center, a center many call Shamballa.

The Vision of an Enlightened Society
Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan Buddhist author who also founded Naropa University, wrote a book entitled Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior on Shambhala as the vision of an enlightened secular society that could be actualized. "Warriorship here does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution," he wrote. Here a warrior literally means "one who is brave." The objective of bravery, "the key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala is not being afraid of who you are.… Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world's great problems, we can be heroes and kind at the same time. Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness. When we are afraid of ourselves and afraid of the seeming threat that the world presents, then we become extremely selfish. …We must try to think how we can help this world" (p. 8). The source of fearlessness and human dignity comes from a deep realization of who we are in reality.

Here is a poem on fearlessness by this mahasiddha of our time, and one I had the honor to hear in Montreal at the Association of Humanistic Psychology annual conference in 1973, and other times, when I sold his early books in my bookcenter in Miami.

That mind of fearfulness should be put in the cradle of loving kindness
And suckled with the profound and brilliant milk of eternal doubtlessness.
In the cool shade of fearlessness, fan it with the fan of joy and happiness.
When it grows older, with displays of phenomena, lead it to the self-existing playground.
When it grows older still, to awaken primordial self-nature, let it see the society of men which possesses beauty and dignity.
Then the fearful mind can change into the warrior's mind, and that eternally youthful confidence can expand into space without beginning or end.
At that point it sees the Great Eastern Sun.
Chogyam Trungpa, Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior

Perhaps the crucial sacrifice we need to make in our time will be the sacrifice of fear itself. Fear and money drive conflict, but the principle of Harmony through Conflict which rules the human family is overruled by the principle of Love-wisdom or the wisdom of love as goodwill. Those who work toward the harmony and unity of humanity and with its environment are the true heroes. The warriors who build the defenses of peace and right relationship by speaking truth and seeing clearly are well-armed by the light of both mind and soul. Speaking the words that liberate from fear and hate thereby reorganizing the life is the 'sacred path of the warriors of Shambhala,' that Trungpa wrote of. We all have a voice and that voice is the 'public opinion that will bring in the new culture of right human relations and a new type of social security' or security for the social world we share (RI 622). "It is not the government of any nation which will bring this about but the innate rightness of the people themselves" with the aid of a "truly free press … free to speak the exact truth and to present the facts as they occur without being controlled or influenced by governmental interference, pressure groups, religious organisations, or by any dictating parties or dictators." (RI 622)

This same innate rightness in Bailey is called innate goodness in Buddhism and is the considered to be the ground reality of every human being, quite unlike the Freudian premise of anti-social unconscious drives as the fundamental truth of human identity. This makes all the difference in how we define a human being and our subsequent psychology and sociology or group relationships and most of all the methods we choose to use and those we refuse to use. In our image-driven world where public relations firms and advertising agencies can build up the image of a human being or tear it down, we are in grave danger of true identify theft--the theft of the mind as an agent of light, of the heart as an agent of love, and of our will to be, to live and to let live.

A Fear-based Society
Most people polled today think we are going in the wrong direction, separating into what protestors call the 99% and the 1%. When a particular wrong affects you, it becomes your issue; it becomes your fight for others as well as yourself for right human relations, and your example of human rights violations. Protestors, those in the occupy movement, and those who inspire them are not motivated by self-pity, and it would be a mistake to think that such movements are motivated by self interest alone. Behind them is the age old intention of idealism and youth to form and reform society until it, step by step, builds its own stairway to enlightenment. Mahatma Gandhi stressed that we must 'make injustice visible,' not ignore it, but take a non-violent stand against it. This is not always easy, either to find an effective means or to stand alone. Voices of protest are a reproach that we are letting our freedoms erode and signing over our liberties in exchange for dubious 'protection' or to the most selfish of monied interests. One of the books shedding light on this problem from the political point of view is Ornstein and Mann's, It's Even Worse than it Looks.

Fareed Zakaria's program GPS recently (May 6) began with an astonishing series of facts that went something like this. The Homeland Security Dept has now grown to be next in size in defense to the Pentagon and Veteran's Affairs having 263 organizations under its department. They occupy the space of 22 capitals or 3 Pentagons; 33 new building complexes have been built for intelligence alone. They employ 230,000 people, 30,000 as telephone spies. In the past such agencies were formed during wartime and then disbanded, but the war on terror has no end, nor location; when will it end? Formed to protect America from foreign terrorism, they have steadily increased domestic surveillance in the war at home, now touching "every aspect of American life." Are we winners in the war on terrorism? Zakaria asks, and observes that 'we don't look like winners; we look like scared fearful losers.' The warring political parties whistling at each other from behind monolithic walls, often look this way too.

Perhaps this generation's greatest renunciation will be the sacrifice of fear, and the courage to look deeply inside at our own natures, unafraid that what we find may not be in accord with the popular philosophy and psychology of fear and desire driving the power structure and its media today. Most of what we hear from the world throat center of the media is focus on fear and desire, both feeding a consumer society. What we as meditators who speak have to add is the focus on the subjective life and its connection to innate goodness, found in meditation, and left unsaid and indeed unacknowledged by the media. We acknowledge both the inner truths and the outer problems, which come together eventually as the antahkarana is built, and social evolution into an enlightened society is the eventual result. The two are joined like cause and effect. The extension of consciousness results in monadic influence "first with full awareness, and finally directly" and is an "individual parallel to the present inflow from … Shamballa" (RI 471).

Our Work
Energizing thoughtforms of solution in the areas of greatest human need is part of our ongoing work as meditators. Speaking words of truth is another part. Participating in conferences adds action to mind and speech. Whether it is the Millennium Development Goals, care of the oceans and rivers, curing disease, fighting fear as the primary national motivator, or fighting injustice economically and socially, we stand behind those who are experts and working in their fields. We stand with intuitive energy and illumination for finding the long term solutions and encompassing as much of the whole web of life and its environment as possible. This month focus is on the Earth Summit of 2012 — the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, June 20-22, which is expected to be the largest event in the history of the United Nations.

The New Group of World Servers is the linking bridge and the mode of communication between the planetary Heart and the planetary Mind, the 5th kingdom and the 4th, or the ordinary human and the enlightened or super human being, super in the quality of light and love made visible for others for the betterment of the whole. This bridge which we build of our own mental matter, or manas, connects the inner world of the soul to the outer world of human living, and gradually transforms the world we live in. Who we think we are automatically transforms our world through our meta-values and life direction. The Forces of Enlightenment drive back and drive out the "forces of hate, of cruelty, of materialism and of darkness," Bailey reminds us. "In spite of all fluctuations in the three worlds of human evolution and the remaining two of superhuman unfoldment" the antahkarana bridges between the three planetary centers are being built (EXH, p. 535)

This is the focus of meditation as world service and the special focus of this Festival of Humanity. How an enlightened society works out in expression is up to us. As we meditate and celebrate the Festival of Humanity and Goodwill let us find the direct line of deep inner connection that leads to the radiant light without limit and the love that can never die; it is our basic nature and true identity that is the agent of enlightenment.

Joann S. Bakula

Bailey, Alice A. The Externalisation of the Hierarchy. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
The Rays and the Initiations. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
Trungpa, Chogyam. Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior. NY: Bantam Books.

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