Easter marks the start of a new cycle and the beginning of a new spiritual year. The three Spiritual festivals of Easter, Wesak, and the Festival of Humanity at the full moons of Aries, Taurus and Gemini, bring an abundant flow of spiritual energies. It is said that during these three festivals, the alignment of the higher chakras, the centres of consciousness, of our planetary life, the Earth, is held in a state of heightened tension. The throat centre, Humanity; the heart centre, the Great Ones on the inner side known as the Spiritual Hierarchy; and the head centre, the secret place of 'peaceful silent will', the Father's House known as Shamballa - during the Aries, Taurus, Gemini full moons these three centres are in a heightened state of relationship.
Easter is the festival of the living, risen Christ; Wesak, the festival of the Lord Buddha; and Gemini the festival of humanity.
Our work during the full moon period is to identify ourselves with the very centre of human consciousness: with the whirling, flowing, dynamic tensions of millions of human beings struggling to make sense of their lives and to live with a measure of dignity, meaning and integrity. We are to sense humanity as one vast energy field - the throat centre of the planetary logos. Now, during this period in the build-up to the Aries full moon our challenge is to think of humanity in relation to the Christ; to think of the Christ within each and every human heart - the sleeping Christ, the awakening Christ. We are challenged to think of this whirling sea of energies that make up the collective mind and heart as if it were being held in the direct gaze of the Christ - the universal, Cosmic Christ. To do this we will have to stretch our minds; we will have to think as if we were a planetary group of meditators; drawing on intuitive insight as we consider the implications of the impact of Christ's gaze on human thought; on the arts in all cultures; on law; on relations between racial and ethnic groups; on community life; religion, literature, the media and so on.
There is a 'golden strand' we are told which reaches from the heart of the Christ to the heart of this planetary meditating group of which we are part; an 'unbreakable and unfathomable' 'golden' beam of light.
Sit quietly as you read this entering into a moment of silence, and then sound the words of the Great Invocation, knowing that others are doing this all over the earth.
At Easter there is the potential for Forces of Restoration to be released from a being, working through the Christ, and known as The Spirit of Resurrection. It is referred to as the Festival of the Risen Christ. At Wesak, Forces of Enlightenment can be released from the Buddha. It is uniquely a Festival of Illumination. And on World Invocation Day, in May, there is the potential for a release of Forces of Reconstruction, working out as widespread creative activity in the building of the new. This is the Festival of Goodwill, or Unification.
The teaching on the forces released at the three festivals comes from writings in the Alice Bailey books in 1945 and the latter part of the 40's. It is particularly related to the events of the First and Second World Wars and the traumatic aftermath of those planetary events. The context is important here. People were exhausted and traumatised by war and, at the same time, there was the visionary spirit of the post-war age founded on human rights, freedoms and a sense of human unity. The spiritual forces released were very much related to the psychological and political conditions of the time.
So what of today? How would an abundant flow of energies of restoration and resurrection change the mental, emotional, political, religious and economic environment? What impact might the Spirit of Resurrection have now, in April 2006?
There seem to be some parallels that can be drawn between now and the time that the Tibetan was writing with Alice Bailey about the three festivals. Clearly the war and violence in Iraq has not been anything like the major planetary conflagration of the Second World War. But it has been something of a watershed. The world will change as a result of it - we are too close to the events to see how it will change, but we can put our energies into the best possible scenarios. The brutality and violence of war has been brought into the homes and communities of people all over the world. There has been a sense of shock amongst people of goodwill around the world. And some key issues in the evolution of our interdependent world have come to a head.
Restoration is such an unusual word in any spiritual dictionary. It reminds us of that culminating, final line in the Great Invocation: Let Light and Love and Power Restore the Plan on Earth. Pure, divine energies flowing through human consciousness can enable us, empower us to restore harmony and balance between inner and outer, higher and lower. The Oxford Dictionary gives as one meaning of restore, to 'bring back to health', and Webster's Dictionary uses the word 'restore' as a meaning for 'redeem'.
So this suggests that Forces of Restoration bring energies that can heal old wounds; redeem hatreds; bring back a sense of happiness, peace and order; bring back a sense of human unity - the simple identification with another as a fellow human being irrespective of culture, religion, race or language. And this, I think, is what we can usefully focus on now. The sense of human unity can lessen the hold of hatreds and prejudices against other cultures, religions and beliefs. It can purify the heart and restore it to its natural, loving state. We can usefully visualise Forces being released at this full moon that will restore this feeling of kinship with fellow human beings.
Writing in March 1945, Alice Bailey speaks of the possibility of a future war in the religious field that would be largely fought with mental weapons, involving emotions and idealistic fanaticism. This, it was suggested, would be both a war against the coming world religion and a war against esotericism. In essence what this means is a divide in religious and spiritual thought between those who are free, open and inclusive in their thinking and those who believe My Way is the only Way. We can visualise great potencies being released at this time to empower those who are free in their religious thinking, and to diminish the influence of those centred in a separative spirit.
The Forces of Restoration, we are told, affect the psyche. They have the effect of energising 'the will-to-live and the will-to-good', impacting on human vision and integrity. Just imagine this: a flow of spiritual force that touches all societies, but in particular we can imagine it flowing through the cultures of Iraq, of Israel and Palestine; of the entire Arab world; of the United States. A flow of force that restores a sense of hope in the future; a sense of positivity around the work of creating cultures of peace, of human rights and responsibilities in all parts of the world.
The potency, the great Being standing behind the Christ, Who will release these living restorative forces is known as the Spirit of Resurrection. He is the 'Sun of Righteousness' Who can arise 'with healing in His wings' and who brings:
- Life giving energy which counteracts death;
- Vision which gives incentive to life
- Hope which can restore all nations.
Resurrection speaks to us of the life everlasting, of the fact that there is no death; only the end of the physical, personality life. The Spirit of Resurrection, we are told, stands in opposition to the Spirit of Death - where there is a lack of vitality in the psyche; fatigue and a sense of hopelessness (ie death) the healing Spirit of Resurrection restores mental vitality.
Now this, it seems to me, is all particularly appropriate to the present world situation. And we can take to heart this statement from Externalisation of the Hierarchy:
At the [Easter] full moon, let the demand go out for the appearance of this life-giving Spirit. Let it go forth with such intensity that the Hierarchy will be called into active response and will immediately release the potency of this Spirit into the hearts of [people] everywhere. pp 458-9
The passage continues:
The Forces of Restoration are-on a small scale-evoking response from the members of the New Group of World Servers and from disciples everywhere. As their psychological "morale" stiffens and their will-to-live and their will-to-good is strengthened, an immediate effect will be felt on a larger scale; the work of the Spirit of Resurrection will intensify, and is already making its presence felt. More and more people are beginning to be forward-looking and to hope with greater conviction and courage for a better world set-up; their hitherto wishful thinking and their emotional desire are slowly giving place to a more practical attitude; their clear thinking and their fixed determination are far more active and their plans better laid because both their thinking and their planning are today based on facts; they are also beginning to recognise those factors and conditions which must not be restored, and this is a point of major importance. p. 459
Let us, for a moment, put aside the trauma of the violence and instability, and think about positive possibilities for the Middle East region, for the United States, and for the United Nations and the evolution of international law. And let us think of positive possibilities for Africa. In the post-Iraq climate of international relations we can visualise vitality and creativity in thinking through the way forward in the Palestine / Israel situation; a vitality in movements in the Middle East which carry a note of inclusive goodwill; a vitality and popular support for initiatives in the United States to reform and strengthen the role of the United Nations; a vitality and a new will in efforts from all countries to implement the goals of the Millennium Declaration:
- eradicating extreme poverty and hunger;
- achieving universal primary education;
- promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women;
- reducing child mortality;
- improving maternal health;
- combating HIV AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
- ensuring environmental sustainability;
- developing a global partnership for development.
Finally can we just imagine how the magnificent, wondrous Spirit of Resurrection, with 'healing in its wings' might initiate a wave of visionary thinking amongst people of concern and compassion around the world. Hope and positivity, particularly if they are born out of a healthy dose of realism and practical consideration of what is possible have a magical affect on consciousness. They enable us to see the future through entirely new eyes. And, from an esoteric view, they are inherently and deeply invocative. Our intelligent sense of vision about the future, and careful planning as to how we can contribute to the realisation of that vision, is deeply, potently invocative of higher Beings. More than anything else it invites higher powers to come to our aid; it sends the message through the ethers that we are serious about our intention to make things better - in our own lives, in our communities and in the world at large. It is said that 'where there is no vision, the people perish'. Tonight, as we work with the energy flow of the beginning of the spiritual year, and the first of the three major festivals; let us, as part of one mind, one heart, one planetary meditating group, demand that the potency of the life-giving Spirit of Resurrection be released into the hearts of people everywhere.
The three festivals continue through Wesak to World Invocation Day on June 11th. As one way of participating in this 60-day period it has been suggested that we make a special effort to use the Great Invocation at least once every day. Also the idea is emerging for individuals and groups to take part in national and regional World Invocation Day Vigils, using the Great Invocation for a period of time at fifteen minute intervals. This year there will be a national Vigil in New Zealand (www.trianglecentre.org.nz, and a regional vigil in the Americas (enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org ).