Joann S. Bakula
For those of us who are drawn to the path of discipleship that leads through God immanent, the spiritual calendar can tell the story of Christ in you, as the Christian calendar tells the story of the life of the Christ himself. God immanent tells the story of the birth of Christ consciousness with its concomitant awakening of mind, heart and will into a larger view; the purification of values and motivation; the transfiguration of the personality into the instrument of the soul; the redemptive sacrifice made for others; and the resurrection from death.
No meditation tells the story better than the meditation in Virgo, the Virgin, 'shielding, nurturing and finally revealing the hidden spiritual reality.' Virgo is called the receptive agent for Father spirit, representing the negative and positive poles of life as Father spirit and Mother matter, uniting to produce the soul or Christ principle in human nature. This story is retold and relived in the birth of consciousness and its expression in the awakening mind, heart and will, and subsequent life as an expression of light, love and the will-to-good. The story is an allegory for matter hiding light. This every body does, as matter provides a vehicle, and life an opportunity to realize and finally bring into full expression the indwelling divinity as Christ consciousness or buddhi.
For us, there is no conflict between those who chose the way of the East or the way of the West. We all aspire to be true disciples of the Way or the Path that leads to enlightenment and liberation from the obstructions to light, love, will, and right human relationships to all kingdoms and within all kingdoms. This is the underlying story that unites all disciples, whether of Krishna, Buddha or Christ.
Further on down the road of social evolution, consciousness becomes aware of systemic relationships, of relationships within the solar system, including awareness that planets are in themselves life forms and that the solar system itself is the body of an organized life form which our intelligence and sensitive response is not yet capable of registering. The Apollo cameras and the eye of Hubble are just the Columbian beginning. A vast new world and organization of energy awaits our perception. As the Tibetan teaches, the initiate then awakens to "those major group responses which eventually give him systemic consciousness and make him a world server in Aquarius and a world savior in Pisces" (EA 268). We begin as usual with the exploration of the physical world. Today, the Hubble telescope has revealed the nearest cluster of galaxies to Earth, with the enormous elliptic galaxy M87 as the dominant galaxy at the center of the Virgo galactic metropolis. Astronauts and psychenauts have already joined the systemic exploration that scientists and contemplatives began.
Virgo and 4th ray energy
The energy predominating in this meditation is the 4th ray of harmony through conflict, or harmony brought about by its opposite, enabling perception of the goal of harmony and its eventual achievement in the great drama of world history. Harmony through conflict, the predominate energy of the human family, has been the driving force behind all other periodic energies producing the play of light and shadow, small and great that tell the story of a life and its civilization. The energy of will is now emerging in mind and society, in psychology and sociology. The recent horrendous battle of opposing ideologies in WWII with its terrible violence, death and destruction is just now seeing its greatest generation of heroes pass away. It was not a conflict between the rich and the poor, capitalism and communism; it was a conflict of the will-to-dominate and the will-to-freedom, of totalitarian rule and home rule or self rule. These conflicts are here today and bring out the will of the human family itself, its intelligentsia and its youth. The energy of will, the Tibetan writes, is "potently making its presence felt, and hence the struggles going on upon the planet between the men of will selfish and ambitious and the men of goodwill who are desirous of the good of the whole" (EA 264).
The energy of will "brings in what might be called the endurance aspect of the will-to-be which carries the incarnated Son of God through the experiences of the dark time wherein the personality becomes the Mother in the stage of gestation, through the period of infancy upon the physical plane and through the stage of adolescence until the initiate attains full maturity. This necessitates persistence, endurance and continuity of effort" (EA 274). This has especial meaning for the youth of the world.
The UN International Year of Youth, by the way, just ended last month and reminds us that the spirit of youth is a group force for enthusiasm and idealism the world over. Despite the world turmoil and dire economic news the united force of youthful spirit is the most hopeful and positive force for change in the world. They want to make a better world, they need to make a better world if they are to raise families and find work that allows their idealism and values to survive. For them persistence, endurance and continuity of effort will be tested in the crucible of values.
There is a common Buddhist cautionary quip, 'It is better to do nothing, but if you begin it is better to finish and to be harmless.' In our desire to do good and to be seen as doing good, we engage in activities that have wide spread implications. We do this without having adequate knowledge or compassion to see the complete picture as it works out in the future on lives we barely know. Alice Bailey's Tibetan (EH 295) defines harmlessness as "perfect poise, a completed point of view and divine understanding." He describes harmlessness as that which "prepares the way for the inflow of life; harmlessness dissipates the obstructions to the free outpouring of love; harmlessness is the key to the release of the lower nature from the grip of the world illusion and from the power of phenomenal existence."
"It is very important to realize the nature of suffering," the Dalai Lama writes. "As long as we have this type of physical body under the influence of contaminated actions (las, karma) and afflictive emotions (klesha), something will be wrong….The phenomena of cyclic existence have a nature of suffering" (Kalachakra Tantra, p. 170). Are actions as easily contaminated as other products on the physical plane? Do afflictive emotions such as pride, jealousy, ego inflation, flattery, and desires, such as profit, competitiveness, fault finding, criticism, one-upmanship, or the prestige of in-group status, contaminate most of our actions? Can we honestly say that we are free of such mixed or contaminated motivations that affect our actions? Are not all actions, especially those deeply affecting other people, afflicted with incomplete knowledge, such as arrogance? This is why monks and disciples in both Christianity and Buddhism begin with motivation and its purification.
Sogyal Rinpoche, the author of best selling, the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, says that the particular brand of laziness exhibited by the Western world is busyness. Overactivity is a type of avoidance and denial that avoids penetrating to the depth of mind, to the essential nature of mind, he points out. We buy our deepest Self off through engaging in endless outward charity acts while we maintain the same mind, full of obstructions, delusions and afflictive emotions. This is not saying that many acts of charity and group social interaction are not good, but it does remind us that the saying, 'Don't just sit there, do something' is reversed by the meditator who says, 'Don't just do something, sit there' which is the meditators answer to ill-thought out actions and policies that often do more harm than good because they lack the completed point of view or complete knowledge.
Part of the suffering of today is a result of the phenomenon of perception control by money and media, from national propaganda to grassroots dissemination of information and misinformation, concomitant with ideological and cultural projections. That perception itself is both subjective and cultural and therefore prone to manipulation, has been known since Goethe first brought it to the attention of the intelligentsia. Today it has become both an obsession and responsible for much delusion.
The Bodhisattva generates altruism and kindness, the Dalai Lama teaches; he asks for initiation in order to salvage and liberate creatures from the cycle of suffering, and to teach others through the presentation of truth or dharma. In order to do this he/she must know them "exactly as they are, the various dispositions and interests of those whom you would teach." Yet, "if Bodhisattvas had a choice either to get rid of the afflictive obstructions preventing liberation from cyclic existence or to get rid of the obstructions to [the siddhi] omniscience, they would choose the latter" (Dalai Lama, p. 172). This is how difficult it is to be harmless without adequate or complete knowledge.
The Tibetan's description of harmlessness as perfect poise, divine understanding and the completed point of view, reiterates the view of Tibetan Buddhism, as would be expected of a Tibetan who was himself an abbot of several Buddhist monasteries, as he mentions in the beginning of his many books. Perfect poise suggests uncontaminated actions, actions without judgment, blame, arrogance or ignorance. Divine understanding--a characteristic of intuition--and the completed point of view are, probably, gates to omniscience, the only complete knowledge that insures harmlessness. There is a point of danger, the Tibetan D.K. writes (EPII 129), "when the theory of service is grasped, and the higher law grasped" when eagerness can easily "mistake theory for reality, and the outer gestures of a life of service for the natural, spontaneous flow of soul life" and the discrimination to serve the awakening soul of light and love. He goes on the say, "Let the Spirit of Goodwill dominate our minds and there will be no room for the spirit of criticism and the spreading of destructive discussion. It is for this reason and in order to develop a group of servers who can work along true and spiritual lines, that there must be increasing emphasis upon the need for Harmlessness."
The Tibetan concludes his words on Virgo (EA 284-285) with: "Ponder upon the beauty of this synthesis and teaching and know that you yourself have said the first word as the soul, descending into the womb of time and space in a far and distant past. The time has now come when you can, if you so choose, proclaim your identity with both divine aspects matter and Spirit, the mother and the Christ."
Wishing you, as a disciple who understands the allegorical journey of both mother Mary and Christ consciousness, a profound meditation in Virgo.
Joann S. Bakula, September 2011
Bailey, Alice A. Esoteric Astrology. New York: Lucis Publishing Co.
Esoteric Healing. New York: Lucis Publishing Co.
Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II. New York: Lucis Publishing Co.
Dalai Lama, Jeffrey Hopkins. Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
Sogyal Rinpoche. Living and Dying Today. Audio tapes. Rigpa Publishers.