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Service as an Expression of the Crown of our Selfhood

Steve Nation
February 2012

When we sit in meditation circles in the light of the Aquarius full moon it is natural that we should reflect on some of the ways in which human consciousness is deepening and maturing. The mental environment created by our collective thoughts, our goals and motives, and, most importantly, our sense of self — our very identity as human beings — is in process of moving into a new phase. Many of us are becoming more group oriented in our thinking and in our identity. As a result our understanding of love, generosity and service is changing. All of this is a response to incoming Aquarian energies.

The energies pouring into the field of mind and heart this full moon have the affect of stimulating those aspects of our personal identity that have been called the crown of our selfhood. I remember some years ago, in a group conversation about the nature of service, someone in the circle spoke with sincerity and authenticity about how he was increasingly realizing that everything was about his shifting understanding of himself. 'Everything is about me and who I am'. It was clear that the speaker was referring to me/my/mine in all its dimensions — the 'me' that included the crown of his Self-hood, what we might call the Soul and those elements of self that lie beyond the Soul.

Oprah Winfrey has recently written that her personal definition of what her life is all about at this time can be summed up in six words: Seeking the fullest expression of self.

This idea that the crown of self links us with universal vision and identification with the oneness of life is key to understanding Aquarius. It is beautifully captured in the statement by Brian Swimme that the universe shivers with wonder in the depths of the human. In the crown of our being we are in the region of the shimmering, golden radiance of the divine, and the Work of our lives becomes the magic of bringing a reflection of that radiance into some field of expression of right relationships where the heart can sense the universe shivering with wonder in all that is. If that sounds overly poetic, we can remind ourselves that the heart is moved by expressions of generosity, sharing, and cooperation for a higher purpose in all their infinite variety. It is in the development of these qualities that the wonder of the universe is revealed through the human community. So it is that we see, before our very eyes, the universe shivering with wonder in the depths of the human in responses to the challenge of climate change that lead communities to contemplate the intrinsic value of the natural world and create economic systems that both heal the ills of the natural world and empower people to end poverty and constantly improve the quality of life for all.

One more comment on this crown of self-hood. In 1975, during the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations, a group of spiritual leaders gathered at the UN to consider the moral and spiritual dimension of human progress. At the final ceremony Brother David Steindl-Rast led a remarkable meditation during which he spoke of the stream of compassion and healing that pulsates through the heart of the world … until we can reach and tap with our deepest roots this common source of concord and compassion, we have not yet claimed within our own hearts that oneness that is our common human birthright. "One is the human Spirit," but the human Spirit is more than human, because the human heart is unfathomable. Into this depth let us silently sink our roots. There lies our only source of peace. In the heights, or depths, however we look at it, of our self-hood we find we are more than human, because the human heart is unfathomable. It is here, as we silently sink our roots into this depth, that we begin to tap the healing, transforming Aquarian waters of life — waters that naturally pour forth to quench the thirst of a parched, deeply crystallized culture.

Aquarius is intrinsically the sign of service. Mature, spiritually sensitive service is a natural, uncontrived radiation of one's essential being — and hence of life itself. My true self, the crown of my being, is the living Christ, the soul. The energies pouring into the collective psyche from the constellation Aquarius stimulate this element of our self-hood. They bring qualities of air — pervasive streams of air sweep, above all, through the mind, blowing away debris so that our thinking and our seeing can begin to be good and true and to resonate with beauty. As we see the good in humanity at this time we naturally find ourselves nurturing that good, fostering it, being excited by its presence and drawing sustenance from it for our own lives.

One of the great insights of the Ageless Wisdom is to ponder the nature of the soul, as it exists on its own plane. This is not to suggest that we invest all our thinking in ideas about the soul — rather that we imaginatively think our way into the reality of the soul, as it exists within us. Accepting that the Solar Angel is a real part of the continuum of mind, can lead us to ponder how our soul thinks and looks out upon the world. Teachings that we know to be True can help us in this invitation to the Soul to reveal its illuminating vision. Meditation that we practice privately, in the intimacy of our private encounter with the Self also helps. And all the time we can be quietly observing our lives and the world as spaces in which and through which the soul is at work. All of this is invocative of that Great Mysterious Angel who is the crown of our self-hood.

Teachings in the Alice Bailey books suggest that the soul is naturally group conscious, part of a group of souls associated with specific ashramic points of focus. There can be a tendency to think of this in glamorous terms, feeding subtle often hidden thoughts of self-importance and grandiose notions of saving the planet, yet it makes more sense to me to envisage these groups in terms of 'working groups' with a Master, or Enlightened One at the centre. Think of associations of souls in and out of incarnation held together by points of attention and focus in the uplift and transformation of consciousness: souls working towards new thinking and behavior in economics, for example, or building right relations with the environment. Imagine how the soul sees the transformation of consciousness (and hence of behavior) in a field like economics as part of the evolution of what it is to be human. Ideas, for example on economics, that flow from the soul will tend to have a magnetism and a magic about them that others associated with the group sense as a livingness and a vibrancy — a beauty. And all the time Aquarius provides the wind behind the backs of the group of economic servers dispensing subtle waters of life to stimulate the intuition.

Service for the disciple tends to follow lines of soul orientation, and it tends to involve groups of thinkers and actors — often from different parts of the world. This is very much the mode of development for many of the arenas in which soul-inspired Aquarian service networks are now emerging. Look, for example, at the environmental field and the massive growth of movements like that are responsive to group processes. Or look at the various processes leading in to the Rio + 20 Earth Summit towards the end of June and see how the winds of change are flowing through the thinking of some of these processes.

I have been intrigued by the 50 + 20 Year Project where global networks of Business Schools and Management Education institutions are in consultations to develop a future curriculum for MBA's and Business Schools that puts sustainability and the joint need for environmental protection and human development at the center. The curriculum is to be presented at the Rio Earth Summit. One of the interesting things about this is the role of Presencing as developed by Otto Scharma in the consultation process. In an interview available on-line as an audio recording and recently transcribed and published in the latest issue of Kosmos Journal, Scharma defines presencing as: the ability to sense and bring into the present one's highest future potential and acting from that state of heightened awareness in the now. That type of personal connection to your future … involves your mind, your heart, empathy. It also involves your deeper sense of self, who you really are, and what you feel your real calling is here on this planet at this point in time.… He goes on to comment: Presencing is about intuition in a way. Its about connecting to the sources of deeper creativity of our deeper sense of self. There's probably an overlap between intuition and presencing. Presencing is connecting to our highest future possibility and that's what I refer to as the capital 'S' Self. see

Imagine the intuitive insights a group, using techniques like this to invoke the deeper levels of self, can draw upon in their work of developing do-able, practical MBA programs for the business leaders of the future. This to me is a perfect illustration of Aquarian service.

There is an interesting comment in the Bailey writings on the astrological picture for humanity's transition into the Aquarian Age. Those who are spiritually alive, the deep thinkers, the activists and folks who are developing their powers of love and service, together with the human species as a whole, are entering Aquarius under the influence of Saturn. This means facing difficult situations and crises which will involve free choice, discriminative pioneering, wise response and correct decision, thus bringing about the destruction of that which hinders without the relinquishing of any true values of which humanity may be aware. Later, hundreds of years later, Mercury will be the guiding influence in the transition: spreading the light of the soul — intuitive and illuminating — upon the situation, [interpreting] for us, through our own illumined minds, the significance of events and [relating] the old and the new, the past and the future through the light of the present. [Esoteric Astrology, 148-9]

This will happen hundreds of years from now, but what is important for us is the comment that DK goes on to make that, because of this future role that Mercury is to play, there is a special significance and usefulness to all current work in meditation that brings about the capacity to be "impressed from on high" (technically understood) and to be illumined by the light of the soul. Training the muscles of mind to hold issues of global significance in the light of a higher wisdom is helping to prepare the ground for the future. And when this is done as part of a group endeavor it is of even greater significance. Our work with full moon meditation is one example of this. Others include the World Goodwill Cycles of Conferences project, the Meditations on the themes of international years offered by the United Nations Days & Years Meditation Initiative, or the monthly gatherings for silence at the United Nations in New York held by the Spiritual Caucus at the United Nations. And another fascinating example is the Presencing work being developed by Otto Scharma: see, for example The Presencing Institute and especially the Institute's Global Dialogue Project, where interviews of leading thinkers on knowledge and leadership contribute to an on-going enquiry on leadership and social change that is based on the capacity of humans to illuminate the blind spot.

It all comes down to the self - the capital 'S' self, and the sense of our highest future possibilities that is to be found there. Aquarius helps us to see the world from the perspective of this higher self, and more importantly it leads us to serve from that perspective with an open heart, an open mind and an open will. This is very different from the little service inspired solely by the vision of the personality, on its own plane - this is service to the needs and desires of the small, separate self, even though it may often be disguised as service for a higher cause.

For Aquarius the coming Avatar is He Who shows the light, and gives water [Esoteric Astrology, p. 273]. The keynote for meditation in the sign is: water of Life am I poured forth for thirsty men.

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