Group Initiation, Universal Values and Inclusiveness
Joann S. Bakula
If we consider the zodiac as a spiritual story, Pisces is the last chapter of the year, making endings, reviews, progress, and completions the natural themes for meditating on humanity and its evolutionary journey. In terms of the zodiac of constellations and its progressions, it is interesting to note that, due to the precession of the equinoxes, Pisces is now "the first of the zodiac" and "entirely within its boundaries lies the sign Aries; the vernal equinox being located here," which is slowly progressing toward Aquarius. This "equinoctial point is known as the First of Aries, and the Greenwich of the Sky" (Allen's Star Names). In terms of time, Greenwich is in London, the moment of the full moon being Thursday, March 8, 2012, 9:41 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), now often called Universal Time (UT).
In Bailey's The Labours of Hercules, this last labor is particularly taxing. Finally Hercules as the World Disciple become Initiate, attains the goal and is greeted by the words, "The jewel of immortality is yours. By these twelve labours have you overcome the human and put on the divine. Home you have come, no more to leave. Upon the starry firmament your name shall be inscribed, a symbol to the struggling sons of men of their immortal destiny. The human labours ended, your cosmic tasks begin." This ends the strictly human portion of the vast journey of evolution between animal, human and superhuman. Hercules has achieved the purposes of life on earth and needs incarnate in samsara no more. Immortality has been achieved through perfecting his character, skill and service to humanity, and has evolved into a new form of life. The unending journey then continues with cosmic tasks.
In the meantime, humanity has achieved a level of universal identification and inclusiveness that means whole groups may now be experiencing initiation into higher stages of consciousness, rather than just a few individuals through the ages. Those who think in terms of universal values are such a group. Within every religious, cultural and secular tradition are those whose thinking is characterized by inclusiveness, altruism and compassion. These are the new group of world servers, in the heart of which are said to be the esoteric groups who work mainly through meditation. Before we begin our planetary meditations we visualize the totality of such a group. A list, necessarily limited and incomplete, followed the commentary last month (Aquarius 2012). It's always risky to make lists such as these; the largest and oldest were chosen. Since then response has been received of other, newer groups and these have now been included in a more complete list of esoteric groups offering meditation instructions, mainly restricted to the United States, and not including the extensive Commonwealth groups of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The new list is at the end of this commentary.
One such group begun by Rudolf Steiner as Anthroposophy, and taking root in America as the Waldorf Schools, sees human beings in both their psychological nature and in their social/group nature, discussed in Steiner's works as the threefold social order. He proposed that the three primary sociological realms of the economy, politics and culture could achieve independence in such a way that they would be mutually corrective and society could reach and maintain a healthy state of equilibrium, instead of periodically spinning out of balance as it does. This would correct the present condition when one sphere gains control and dominance over the others--let alone when two spheres gain control of the remaining one. This unhealthy lack of balance produces a chaotic time of unrest, distrust and human suffering.
Steiner's sociological proposal rests on the psychological description of an individual "soul" as having two poles. "Two impulses dwell in the human soul, which are related just as the north and south poles of a magnetic compass are related to one another. These two impulses are egoism and love" (The Social Order, p. 129). Keeping in mind that this is a translation from the German, further reading indicates that his meaning was individual needs and interests vs. altruistic love and the common good. Later Abraham Maslow formulated his well known Hierarchy of Human Needs, which is a standard part of academic psychology. He also referred to it as a Hierarchy of Human Values and Motivation, which many of us see as obvious, but has yet to be proven. Later still Ken Wilber mapped individual and social integration in his Integral Psychology (p. 62), portrayed as a square: upper left as "interior individual," upper right as "exterior individual," lower left as "interior social (cultural)," and lower right as "exterior social," known in the movement as AQAL, meaning all quadrants, all levels, and a popular example of an inclusive psychology.
These men have contributed much to the emergence of universal values in sociology and psychology. Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs (The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, pp. 133-125) is crowned by what he called meta-needs, also called Being-values, which include truth, beauty, goodness, justice, benevolence, perfection, completion, independence, synergy and other needs that esotericists will recognize as primary motivators in the various spiritual groups, their training, paths and stages. These are the efforts of creative thinkers to lay a foundation in the social sciences for integrating the individual and its needs with the whole human family and its needs. One was a mystic and the other a scientist, yet in their intuitive understanding they made the individual and social organization clearer for us today.
Hercules' Labor of the 12th Gate
In the last chapter of Bailey's The Labours of Hercules, Pisces, the disciple must capture "the Red Cattle of Geryon and drive them to the Sacred City." Like all disciples and travelers, at times he lost his way but always turned back, retraced his steps and journeyed on. In one variation "the Sacred City consisted of two towns connected by a wonderful wall and a gateway called the Gateway of the Lion," which some have equated with the corpus callosum in the brain connecting the right and left hemispheres, applying the stage of advanced discipleship and initiation to the microcosm and its enhanced functioning and abilities.
Alice Bailey, applying the myth to the human family, writes, "Now humanity, the human monster, is ready for salvation and the real work of The World Savior can begin as a whole with the group concept underlying the work rather than the individual soul saving." Alice Bailey refers to the group concept in the following terms: "they speak a universal language, they demonstrate a universal light" and they are called the New Group of World Servers, her contribution to sociology, perhaps, by identifying and defining a new group category. "The hallmark of those people is not self-assertiveness … they work through meditation" and "serve intelligently and are not in a hurry" (pp. 201-202). Bailey writes that "they meet the need of their fellowmen." They are characterized by "inclusiveness, the hallmark of the New Age, the universal spirit, identification, oneness with all your fellowmen. That is love." Those who learn sustained meditation and can put their impressions into words that communicate will automatically find themselves "overshadowed by the Great One, whose mission is to lift humanity out of darkness and into light, from the unreal and into the real" (pp. 203-204).
Many good wishes to all of you in all of these groups who build thoughtforms in meditation of a humanity governed by altruism, compassion and universal values combined with human rights.
Joann S. Bakula
On-line Interfaith Organizations Offering Meditation Instruction
A Course in Miracles (ACIM)
Agni Yoga Society
Association for Research and Enlightenment
Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)
Philosophical Research Society
Science of Mind (Unity)
School for Esoteric Studies
School for the Study of the Seven Rays (SS7R)
Theosophical Society International Headquarters, Chenai, India
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Theosophical University, Pasadena, CA
University of the Seven Rays (U7R)
Center for Visionary Leadership
When the Soul Awakens (Gathering Wave Press)
White Mountain Education Association