Welcome to this festival meditation for world service, held in the light of Aquarius. In Western astrological terms the sun is considered this month to be in Aquarius. On a greater time scale we are moving into an era of two thousand years or so when the entire field of human consciousness will be oriented around Aquarian energies.
Everyone who is meditating during the period of the full moon, and doing so as a service to human and planetary evolution, is part of one group mind. We are co-workers looking inwards to the world of soul where energies of light, love and spiritual purpose are to be found and looking outwards upon the world of affairs, events and happenings in the life of humanity. One group, one mind! As we do this work month after month, year after year, decade after decade the group imagination is maturing, so that more and more of us are beginning to see at least the outlines of the reorientation of consciousness that is taking place in humanity. What is happening is that we are learning to see behind the outer and into the realms of meaning and significance — and we are doing this with increasing definition and clarity, continually refining our ability to discriminate between fantasy and reality. We are learning to read the events of the time with esoteric discrimination.
Working within the map of human development outlined in the grand story of the evolutionary path as it is presented in the writings of Alice Bailey we align the group mind, firstly with the service network in humanity, and then with the Greater Beings to be found in the upper reaches of consciousness. In the meditation outline these Beings are identified as Hierarchy, the heart centre of the planetary life, the Christ at the centre of Hierarchy, and the Great Beings of peaceful, silent will in Shamballa. It is as if we are learning to become participant observers in the relationship between heavenly beings, human beings and all the other beings who together constitute our planetary home, Earth. This is the environment within which we imaginatively stand.
It is important to affirm that our meditation is more than observation — it is purposeful — seeking as a planetary group to take the substance of human life, the substance of life as it is lived by the billions of incarnated human beings now, in 2013, and raise this substance into an invocative alignment with the Heart of the Planet, the Lords of compassion on the inner side of life, and beyond this into an invocative alignment with Potencies of Planetary Purpose.
Because we are human, working necessarily through brains and glands, and imprisoned at least in part by inherited veils that hide us from the Real, our natural tendency is to think of evolution and of human development as a historical process that is largely random and driven by human initiatives, by human leaders and popular human movements. Yet through the group imagination we begin to see another dynamic taking place - human initiatives, human leaders and popular human movements reflect responses to higher energies as we move into an environment of mind and heart conditioned increasingly by Aquarius. What is sometimes referred to as 'The Plan' for humanity and the planet, as it exists in the Mind of God, is essentially a set of universal principles and laws projected into the field of human awareness. Human development takes place in all the dynamics of response through time to these principles — this development is a chaotic and haphazard process as elements of instinct, emotion and intellect resist the new, are threatened by the new, embrace the new in superficial ways and so on. Harmony emerges through conflict — a process that often involves a good deal of pain, trauma, and despair alongside a reshaping vision of future possibilities.
Another way of imagining this process of human development is to think in terms of pulses of Divine Fire impacting the body electric and the body etheric of humanity. Development takes place through our responses to these totally unseen, unrecognized and unknown impacts. Or we might simply think of the climate of thought during any particular historical period — seeded by cosmic rays and by the emanations of mythical divinities. Individuals respond to these changing conditions in the macro-climate of human thinking in different ways. Or we might envisage this as a process of Sound — as the Word of God progressively impacts human consciousness it evokes changes in human energies. We can work with the image of humanity, held in the gaze of the Christ in His role as Grand Therapist, or as magician, in the unfolding of the relation between soul and personality in the human.
It is not simply a matter of human beings becoming, magically, mystically more loving, more inclusive and so on. Rather it s a process of the growth that takes place through life-times of finding ways of incorporating these often unsettling new impulses. The human story is, like the historical story, best seen as being like a novel. Different characters respond to the impulses in different ways, growing through their response in relation to factors like karma, souls that have relatively few incarnations and are still in process of building up a strong personality in contrast to souls that have had far more experiences of individual incarnation and, as a result will be closer to the initiatory process and the reversal of the wheel of incarnation.
So. Here we stand, on the verge of the full moon when the sun is in Aquarius — assembled together as a planetary meditating group for the first time after the hugely significant overshadowing of the Festival Week full moon when the sun was in Capricorn.
It is a good time to pause for total silence.
In the centre of all Love I stand. From that centre I, the soul, will outward move. From that centre I, the one who serves, will work. May the love of the divine Self be shed abroad, in my heart, through my group, and throughout the world.
When we look out on the world through the eyes of Aquarius we need to be looking for developments in the collective mind and heart that are all-pervasive, like the quiet emergence of new values and ethics. After all Aquarius is an air sign. The air that we breathe and depend upon for our life and health is something we don't see, and we often take for granted. It is all around us plays a hugely important role in our lives and yet, because it is so all pervasive, we often give it little attention.
And so it is with the 'air' or atmosphere of human thinking. Ever since the Second World War and the Four Freedoms (and of course for centuries before that as well) standards of behavior and of 'civilization' have been maturing — around the world, in all cultures. The boundaries of what is acceptable have been shifting in all sorts of areas, reframing themselves around the principles enshrined in the four Freedoms. Steven Pinker provides a wealth of evidence for this in his history of violence, showing that we are, as a species, becoming increasingly unwilling to accept levels of violence that were quite acceptable in previous generations. This includes areas like violence against women, sexual violence, violence against basic human rights, as well as criminal violence, the use of violence in resolving disputes and so on. This is a god example of the way in which Aquarius is lifting us into a greater sense of the good of the whole and a growing ability to empathize with others. [See Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature]
It is also Aquarius that leads us to consider the well being of the Earth itself, the animals, plants and minerals. The way in which this process of seeing the bigger picture in terms of the environment is working out is that we are, as a species, being shocked as we see how damaging our presence on the earth during recent decades and centuries has become. Shock is pushing us into an awareness that we need to change our economy and our lifestyle. It is not surprising that awakening the will to make the changes needed — and even developing a popular imaginary sense of ways we might live and conduct economic relationships that lead to a healthy environment — these things take time and they take effort, labor by members of the new group of world servers, in order to mobilize people of goodwill into effective action.
Aquarius is a sign of service. Instead of thinking of service in sentimental and 'prissy' ways (convincing ourselves that we are serving when it may simply be that we are adhering to the cultural norms of a particular 'alternative' set of behaviors) we need to review our lives in terms of developing skills in spreading love in our surroundings and in awakening serious thinking about issues of our time like climate change. We also need to look at our own inner lives — deepening our sensitivity to the airy Aquarian changes taking place in the climate of thought in our nation (or even in our community, our professions and our places of work) and noticing where we see evidence of what the Dalai Lama has famously referred to as the sense of Universal Responsibility. The more we notice, and care for this emerging quality in human beings — the more we will naturally bring this into our meditations and the more we will lift it up into the lighted minds of the lords of compassion.
Aquarius, of all signs, asks us not to get lost in the fantastical realms of the vertical arm of the cross. It asks of us that we bring together spirit and matter, that we develop a sense of the personal reflecting the soul — and reflecting in an authentic, real and living way rather than allowing shadows to lie hidden, too shy to expose themselves to the light of our own awareness. Aquarius suggests that we take care with the process of bringing together spirit and matter — acknowledging that this process is underway sand recognizing that the process itself is what matters, and that through the eyes of the soul what is needed is not saintliness in the human but simply some sense of a work in progress. In particular Aquarius asks us to consider that this work involves both soul and personality — that it is not simply the 'one immersed in time and space' that needs to do the work, recognizing the soul which is outside of time and space and yet is an essential part of our human identity is also an active player in our lives.
Aquarius, the sign of the server, gives the meditating group, during this full moon period, a particular facility to pour out love and wisdom upon the earth. That is really something for us to take into the meditation work. The practice of visualizing the group pouring out love and wisdom upon the earth depends on our increasingly intuitive sensitivity to humanity's need at this time for love and wisdom. It is love and wisdom that is needed in our collective (human and governmental) response to the challenges of climate change; it is love and wisdom that is needed to break out of the shallowness of an overtly materialistic culture; it is love and wisdom that are needed if schools, university's and places of learning all over the world are to respond with any sense of appropriateness to the needs of young people today. The meditating group is only able to pour out love and wisdom to the extent that it is able to forget itself and lose any sense it might have of self-importance as it concentrates attention on the Work itself — and on the higher sources from which Love and Wisdom truly flow.
We know that we are required to develop a tenderness to the near and the far. Tenderness itself is to be nurtured wherever our consciousness is focused — tenderness to the Life within the form; tenderness to the soul within the form; tenderness to all the sensitivities of the personal such as the sense of inadequacy, the immersion in veils of inherited collective emotions, habits and thoughts. For those of us who, like me, live in the United Sates of America it is especially appropriate that we nourish our tenderness to the grand ritual that took place in this nation earlier this week: the inauguration of President Obama for his second term. Let us be nourished by the profound spiritual energies generated by this national ritual and by the Aquarian nature of the ritual itself — celebrating the soul of the nation while giving this expression in a vision for future possibilities.
The keynote for Aquarius in meditation is: Water of life am I poured forth for thirsty men.